Jesmond’s New Sainsbury’s Local: What We Know So Far


A render of the proposed Sainsbury store – via Studio SP


The site of the new construction is on Lyndhurst Avenue, on the spot the Jesmond Picture House used to occupy. The old cinema was demolished in 2009 after standing derelict since 1993. The plot, over the road from West Jesmond Metro station, is currently unused.


Sainsbury’s will be well known to readers and a spokesman told JesmondLocal that “we’ve been interested in opening a convenience store on the site of the old Jesmond Picture House for some time and are working closely with the Council to finalise our plans”. The design of the new building is being spearheaded by local architecture firm Studio SP, who have been heavily involved with the regeneration of other notable locations around the city (including a major redevelopment on City Road on the Quayside).


Sainbury’s Local is the retailer’s branch of mid-sized convenience stores, comparable to the nearby Tesco Metro in size and range of goods and services. Plans have been approved for a four storey building, comfortably taller than its neighbour, The Lonsdale. As well as the Sainsbury’s Local, the building will house a basement, a restaurant and office space.

Gavin Lowden, Project Manager at Studio SP, explained that the idea behind the design was that “you can preserve the past and still push forward.” The design, which resembles the old picture house in shape, represents an attempt to enforce a sense of “continuity” by utilising a “classic art-deco” style.


Clearly, Sainsbury’s feel that there is potential to attract customers, despite the obvious competition from the nearby Tesco Metro on Acorn Road and mid-sized Waitrose on Osborne Road, all within five minutes walk of each other.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme shortly after the company announced a sizable drop in sales figures, warned that “trends are changing rapidly” amongst shoppers with people increasingly preferring to do “a little and often shopping.” The preponderance of smaller branches in Jesmond, rather than large, out-of-town megastores, reflects this shift in consumer behaviour.

Both Sainbury’s and Studio SP made the pragmatic argument for the development. A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told JesmondLocal that “we have a strong track record of employing local people and our store will provide much-needed jobs for members of the local community.” Similarly, Lowden said that “regeneration encourages investment and kickstarts other parts of the economy. You have to make sure that it isn’t just a beautiful building. It has to work for the area.”


The store will have permission to open between 7am and 11pm and deliveries will be permitted between 8am and 6pm (except Sundays). However, we still don’t know when the new business will actually open its doors. Plans were originally submitted in 2012 and there has been a flurry of activity over the past few months, with developers seemingly eager to kickstart construction but a concrete opening date remains elusive. However, Gavin Lowden at Studio SP revealed that whilst there are still a number of conditions that must be met before construction can commence, they expect it to be completed sometime around Summer/Autumn 2015.

According to planning documents, these conditions include providing parking spaces for cyclists and meeting a number of environmental standards. Furthermore, nearby residents will be heartened by the news that before the restaurant can open its doors developers must put in place “a scheme for the extraction of cooking fumes and odours”.

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6 thoughts on “Jesmond’s New Sainsbury’s Local: What We Know So Far”

  1. Jane bradley (David H the gentleman's barber) says:

    I honestly don’t think Jesmond needs another supermarket. There is 2 already tesco and waitrose. Jesmond isn’t big enough. I really think they should build a multi storey car park for people that work in the area day time only evening’s for residents. Jesmond would benefit from this as a multi storey car part would free more parking spaces for customers visiting area for shopping.

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  4. Dennis Barker says:

    I think the competition will be good for the area.The local tesco metro has had its own captive market for a long time and people want a choice of local shopping within walking distance.

    Sainsburys has the advantage of being visible from the metro for passing commuter trade and should be able to establish a base amongst the local student population if the product mix is good.

  5. Richard says:

    A shame they didn’t feel it was possible to renovate the old building instead of building another grey glass box.

  6. David says:

    Why are people letting them build this crap here? Didn’t see the usual notices hung on lamp post and at the local library with regards to planning permission?
    Anyone against it? I find it hard to believe we have a genuine need for another shop!

  7. Misra says:

    Another nail in the coffin for the small independent businesses which are constantly being driven to closure by the opening of these multiple giants in their close proximity. Acorn Road is prime example. You don’t need to venture very far. Where have they all gone since the first one of these multiples Tesco appeared. The local butcher, greengrocer, baker, newsagent(2), fishmonger, florist, wine shop and the rest.

    They may be creating a few jobs, don’t know if they are new-people off the dole que, but they are definitely destroying families and the lively hood of the small independents. These greedy supermarkets have got as much as they can from these large stores, but they have realised that there is still some more to take as many shoppers always run out of a few things for which they visit the local convenient store. Therefore the greedy ********** are coming into the residential areas for the last few crumbs.

    They are going to ruin the beautiful locality that WAS Jesmond. Who allowed the planning application for this atrocity and what happened to the traffic issue with all these massive lorries servicing these three major stores thundering up and down these residential streets all day long.

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