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Wagamama closes in Crawley before it even opens as owners cut up to 3,000 jobs

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It was applauded by many when it was announced that Frankie & Benny’s was to change into a Wagamama restaurant.

The old Frankie & Benny’s in Crawley’s leisure park which was to be turned into a Wagamama.

Only six months ago an announcement was made the restaurants owners TRG of the change.

Back then the owners confirmed that all the current staff were guaranteed jobs. Then Coronavirus hit.

Staff at the current site of the proposed Wagamama have received letters about CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) which would allow the company to restructure through an insolvency procedure.

Across the UK it has been reported that 125 Frankie & Benny’s restaurants are to now close with up to 3,000 jobs at risk.

But it is not only Wagamama that may be at risk. Restaurant Chiquito is also part of the TRG family.

TRG Group has been contacted for a statement on Crawley’s Chiquito restaurant.

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Aldi looking to open second store in Crawley, but where is it going to be?

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The UK’s fifth largest supermarket has been on an expansion drive in recent years as it targets having 1,200 stores open by 2025.

Among the towns it hopes to open in are Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, and Worthing.

Most excitingly for locals here though, it also wants to build an additional store in Crawley as well as Brighton and Hastings.

Aldi, which currently has more than 880 stores across the UK, has identified 20 new locations where it is looking for freehold town-centre or edge-of-centre sites suitable for development.

It says each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000 sq ft store with around 100 parking spaces, ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access. 

With Morrisons leaving their town centre location speculation has turned to whether this will now be the perfect location for the second Aldi.

Ciaran Aldridge, National Property Director at Aldi UK, said:

“Aldi is growing rapidly and we are welcoming around a million new customers into our stores every year.

“But there are also hundreds of towns across the UK where there is not an Aldi, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of people who can’t easily access the high quality, affordable food our customers love.

“We are willing to explore all opportunities, including developer-led schemes or existing retail units.”

The full list of locations it is targeting in Sussex are:

  • Bexhill
  • Bognor Regis
  • Brighton
  • Burgess Hill
  • Chichester
  • Crawley
  • East Grinstead
  • Eastbourne
  • Goring-by-Sea
  • Hailsham
  • Hastings
  • Haywards Heath
  • Horsham
  • Littlehampton
  • Midhurst
  • Newhaven
  • Portslade
  • Shoreham
  • Uckfield
  • Worthing

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