M&S will cut the ribbon on the last new grocery store in Northern Ireland

MARKS & Spencer has confirmed it will cut the ribbon on its latest major investment in Northern Ireland next week.

The retailer said 60 jobs have been created by the new foodhall at Bridgewater Retail Park in Banbridge, which will open on May 10.

Senior M&S officials have been among the most outspoken in the grocery industry about the impact of the Northern Ireland protocol on supply lines to its 22 stores here.

But despite these concerns, M&S has continued its strategy of realigning its business in the north around the foodhall model, with the Banbridge store being the latest example.

In a statement, the retailer said the Bridgewater Retail Park outlet “will offer thousands of new product lines as well as new ways to shop high-tech.”

It follows the opening of new M&S Simply Food stores in Carrickfergus and Craigavon ​​in recent years.

Similar M&S grocery stores are also being developed for the Derry and Coleraine retail parks.

Some 11 of the 22 M&S stores in the north are now marketed as ‘Simply Food’.

Marks & Spencer also operates a home and clothing outlet in the nearby Boulevard retail site.

The new retail space at Bridgewater Retail Park has been developed by Co Tyrone Gortalowry Developments, a property development company owned by Euro Auctions boss Derek Keys.