Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 13 February 2010

Demonstration against Tesco plans for Stokes Croft

Demonstration against Tesco plans for Stokes Croft
Demonstrators said independent traders may have to close down

A demonstration against plans to open a new Tesco store has been held in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol.

The Express supermarket is being planned for the former site of the Jesters comedy club.

Opponents say they do not want Stokes Croft to lose its local character and they fear smaller shops will find their businesses threatened.

A Tesco spokesman said evidence showed opening a supermarket brought shoppers back to an area.

'Community spirit'

Bristol City Council has already approved the change of use for the building.

Claire Milne, who represents the group No Tesco in Stokes Croft, said they gathered at the site to discuss alternative uses.

She said the area was "a melting pot of independent traders" who may have to close down if they are unable to compete with the multinational company.

Bushra Randhawa, a postmaster and resident for 24 years, said: "It's taken a huge effort from local groups, traders and the community to regenerate this area and only now does it feel like a real community spirit is developing.

"This move will take us two steps backwards when we need to take two steps forward."

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: "The evidence shows that where Tesco build a new Express store it brings people back to the High Street which helps local traders."



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