A NEW Lidl store at the Hillview site on the Crumlin Road opened its doors to the public yesterday.

The German supermarket giant is the first tenant on the site since Dunnes Stores closed in 2007.

Lidl has created 35 new jobs at the store, with fellow discount retailer Home Bargains and a day centre for the elderly also expected to open in the coming months.

The store was opened on Thursday by schoolchildren from nearby Holy Cross Boys Primary School and Edenbrooke Primary School, who officially cut the ribbon and welcomed the first customers inside. The local schools were also presented with £500 each in vouchers to spend in the brand-new store.

Plans have also been submitted for 18 homes on the site, with the application currently with Belfast City Council.

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly welcomed the opening of the new Lidl.

WELCOME: Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly

WELCOME: Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly

“I am delighted that this new Lidl store is opening this week at Hillview on the Crumlin Road,” he said.

“This is the beginning of the plan to regenerate this site after it being empty for some years. The potential for development at Hillview is significant in an area where available land is at a premium.”

Thomas McFarlane, Hillview Retail Park Store Manager at Lidl Northern Ireland, said: “Hillview Retail Park is an outstanding location serving a busy local community and we’re delighted to confirm our investment as its anchor tenant. This once popular shopping destination is primed for a new future of growth and we’re proud to be part of this significant regeneration. 

"Our new store means that more people can now shop local for essential groceries right in the heart of the community and enjoy our Big on Quality, Lidl on Price proposition which has resonated so well with communities across the region. We look forward to welcoming everyone through our doors soon.”