REVEALED: Where Norwich's new Tesco supermarket will open

Archant/Submitted

Stefan Gurney of the Norwich BID on Tesco's move - Credit: Archant/Submitted

Tesco intends to move down the road to a new city centre premises which has been lying empty for months. 

The supermarket giant announced it will be closing its Metro store in Guildhall Hill in May with approved plans for a 91-bed hotel in the building expected to start in the summer.

But the food company secured a new site nearby which has now been revealed as the former Laura Ashley store in Norwich's London Street. 

Tesco has lodged plans with the city council this month requesting planning permission to display signs and vinyl graphics at the site. 

Rough sleepers have set up tents outside the former Laura Ashley store

Rough sleepers have set up tents outside the former Laura Ashley store - Credit: Ben Hardy

A Tesco spokesman said: “We serve a fantastic community in Norwich and remain committed to the town.

"We are very pleased to have secured a site for a new Express store nearby and look forward to continuing to serve the local area.”

The application shows the new store will be a Tesco Express with a cash machine and Costa Express machine. 

Homeless people are currently sleeping outside the former Laura Ashley store where Tesco look set to move in to

Homeless people are currently sleeping outside the former Laura Ashley store where Tesco look set to move in to - Credit: Ben Hardy

Stefan Gurney, executive director for Norwich BID, said: "What is happening to that area of the city is obviously positive with a new 91-bed hotel added to the leisure accommodation, while Tesco will be able to retain their provision.

"The floor print is not that different and is the same as Pilch and Mountain Warehouse. I expect it to be larger than the other Tesco sites in the city but it depends on how they utilise the space." 

Tesco Metro on Guildhall Hill, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The hotel will be above the existing Tesco Metro in Norwich's Guildhall Hill - Credit: Archant

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Homeless people have set up tents and sleeping bags in the doorway of the boarded up store. 

Norwich BID will be working with the police, Pathways and the councils to provide support for the rough sleepers and to find a solution. 

The site has been closed for nearly two years after Laura Ashley fell into administration in March 2020. 

Signs for the home furnishings company can still be seen on the site.

Mr Gurney described the recent activity in London Street as "like-for-like" with one national chain replacing another in the cases of Laura Ashley becoming Tesco and Jack Wills becoming Costa Coffee.

Stefan Gurney, chief executive of Norwich Business Improvement District. Pic: Nick Butcher.

Stefan Gurney, chief executive of Norwich Business Improvement District. Pic: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Tesco's planning application for the signage will be considered by Norwich City Council in due course.