Forum welcomes supermarket regeneration initiative

Forum welcomes supermarket regeneration initiative

LEADERS of the minority ethnic business community in the West Midlands have commended a £10 million supermarket opening that has created 100 new jobs and helped to regenerate a deprived part of Birmingham.

With the completion of construction work, that has lasted nearly a year, the former derelict bus depot in Washwood Heath Road, Alum Rock, has been transformed into a new supermarket on two levels that also includes meeting rooms which can be used by community groups.

The store is the latest and biggest outlet so far for PAK Supermarket that started 30 years ago as a corner shop grocers and has grown to become the biggest Asian supermarket group in the UK, with stores in the West Midlands and South Yorkshire.

“We have a wonderful example of grass roots regeneration that is helping to bring new jobs, hope and opportunity to a deprived part of Birmingham,” said Sarabjeet Soar of the West Midland Minority Ethnic Business Forum which provides strategic
advice to the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.

“This shows just what can be achieved and is a great example for minority ethnic entrepreneurs. It also marks a major step for PAK that will see them serving not just their traditional client base in the Asian community but also attracting customers from the wider community,” added Sarabjeet, joint chairman of the Forum’s Regenerating Communities sub-group.

“As well as supplying ingredients to meet an increasingly cosmopolitan taste for Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, African Caribbean and Chinese cuisine PAK is also selling well know European brands.”

The store welcomed its first customers on Tuesday (April 1) when local community leaders were invited. A formal opening is planned for later in the year.

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