NEARLY 600 residents have signed a petition against the closure of a supermarket in one of Coventry’s poorest areas.
Aldi in Bell Green is set to shut at the end of March.
Residents say there are few supermarkets nearby and it is a centre of the community, serving many people.
An Aldi spokesperson said the store and car park cannot ‘meet demand’ and assured workers their jobs will be relocated while a site for a larger store in the city is being examined.
Resident Mel Gregory started the petition to Aldi and it has gained 583 signatures in two days.
The petition states: “This store, despite being one of the smaller ones, is a busy store and is a necessity to the people in the area, there is nothing else close by.
“Our area is in a deprived part of the city yet the council are still building new houses. This can only be a good thing for Aldi as it will bring more customers.
“A refurbishment is due in Riley Square which will attract more businesses and, again, will be a huge boost for Aldi.
“Closing our store is unfair just because they cannot expand.
“We love the store the way it is and Aldi will be a huge loss to us all. We ask you to reconsider.”
Ward councillors wrote a joint letter to Aldi bosses, calling for an urgent meeting.
The joint letter is signed by leader of Coventry City Council George Duggins along with fellow Longford councillors Linda Bigham and Lindlsey Harvard, and Henley councillors Pat Seamon, Kevin Maton and Ed Ruane.
It states: “We as local ward councillors are most concerned about the rumoured proposal emanating from our constituents about the closure of your store in Roseberry Avenue, Bell Green, Coventry.
“We understand that the store itself is profitable and that many of our constituents rely on the store to get their day to day shopping items.
“We would remind you at the store on Roseberry Avenue was one of the first Aldi’s in Coventry and our constituents of Longford and Henley, many of whom visit your store either on foot or public transport, have been loyal to Aldi over the years.
“We would therefore ask that a meeting be arranged with yourself and ourselves to discuss any issues that may be in existence which prevents you from keeping the store open.”
An Aldi spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, we have had to take the decision to close our Bell Green store at the end of March as the store and car park are no longer large enough to meet demand.
“All colleagues are being given the opportunity to relocate to another of our stores in the city.
“We currently have six stores across Coventry, including at the nearby Gallagher Retail Park, which also serves some of the Bell Green community. We are now looking for new larger sites in the city with more parking spaces.”