Tonight in the Community and Arts centre there was a debate about the forthcoming planning application for a Lidl store plus other premises at Balmakeith (see plan here). There was again alarm expressed from the Association of Nairn Businesses about the effect this would have on the High Street. The association viewpoint that they wanted Lidl in the town centre was again expressed.
A variety of opinions supporting a Lidl store were aired including having to travel the distance of 3 litres of petrol to shop in a Lidl store at the present moment and a perception that the High Street wasn’t appealing to the younger generation and that we couldn't go back in time.
The Westies Rosemary Young stated that from a tourism point of view she thought it would be a disaster. Later she said however: “I have been speaking to the young business people in the town – young people that own businesses in the town. One which is a construction type of business and one which is another sort and I was impressed that they were saying that they wanted Lidl to come.”
Rosemary then asked for a show of hands of those who wanted to see Lidl come to Nairn. There were around 30 people present, community councillors and members of the public, in the room and it appeared that a sizeable majority of those present were in favour of Lidl building a store at Balmakeith. It looked at around 75% to this observer although no count was taken.
Before the meeting moved onto the next subject, Sorcha O'Carrol, a member of Nairn Suburban CC, then said: “Speaking to a lot of the other younger mothers and people that are responsible for the household budget. They would absolutely shop in Lidl and they don’t mind if they have to go to the edge of town or the centre of town. They are absolutely all for having a Lidl Store here.