PLANS have been submitted to open a new Co-op store in Barrow.

In January The Mail revealed the owner of the Lisdoonie Hotel in Abbey Road had been approached by a grocery retailer looking to open a new store.

Rumours at the time speculated the Co-op was involved but the retailer refused to confirm the plan at the time.

Plans have now gone in to Barrow Borough Council to convert the hotel's function room into a convenience store.

The store will employ 15 members of staff and have 15 car parking spaces at the front.

The plans reveal the side entrance to the car park in Furness Park Road will be blocked off and cars will only be able to access the store by Abbey Road in order to mitigate traffic problems on the smaller adjacent street.

The 447 square metre store will generate an estimated turnover of around £2.4m and opening hours will be from 6am until 11pm.

The Lisdoonie has been owned and managed by the Cook family for more than 40 years.

For the last 20 John Cook has been at the helm but he admitted in January that he was looking to retire.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of running the hotel. I’m privileged to have been involved.

“But it’s been 40 years and I’m 65, I can’t go on forever.”

The hotel incorporates two grand semi detached Victorian houses and has 12 en-suite rooms, a bar and a large ballroom.

A retail impact study submitted with the plans for the new Co-op reveals the turnovers for Tesco Extra, Asda and Morrisons in Barrow £36.4m, £25.5m and £50.9m respectively.

The Co-op in Ainslie Street generates a turnover of £4.5m.

The store at the Lisdoonie is expected to take over approximately three per cent of Barrow's convenience goods spend.

Newbarns councillor Mark Burley said: "I don't see why this wouldn't be a good idea.

"It's welcomed if they are going to provide lots of jobs.

"It's a shame that are not many nearby places to go shopping so this would be a good addition."

The Co-op already has six stores in Barrow and Walney as well as one in Dalton and two in Ulverston.

Suggested benefits to the town of the new store include enhancing the appearance of the area through improvements to the existing building, creating employment opportunities and the provision of a medium-sized store to meet the needs of residents on a key arterial route.

A public consultation on the plans is set to end on August 29 before the planning committee will come to a decision.