SHORT-term pain for long-term gain.

That’s the message from business leaders in Kinson as work starts on the site of the new Tesco store planned for the area.

The old precinct in Wimborne Road has now been fenced off and initial work has started on site.

Early indications are that it has led to a drop in footfall, with shops saying they are quieter than normal since the Co-op, which was the last remaining shop in the parade, closed in November.

Ramesh Lal, chairman of Kinson Business Forum, said: “Some businesses are affected, some are OK and there’s concern because there’s a noticeable drop in footfall.

“It’s noticeable, but the weather hasn’t helped and we’re only going by one month since the Co-op closed.

“We’re in an uncertain period.

“However, I think from the Kinson Business Forum point of view, we’re quietly confident that once the work starts there will be a confidence coming in and the community will see something going on.

“Things are looking good if we can get through this period.

“Let’s stick with this now because it’s going to be well worth it and it’s going to change the face of the high street.

“As soon as we see the demolition there will be a confidence coming back.

“KBF are also very keen to talk to Tesco directly, which is something that we have still to do.”

Tesco has said that demolition is due to happen from this month onwards.

Building work is expected to begin in May.

It plans to open the store before Christmas, bringing to an end a long-running saga over the site.

Adam Jacobs, who also helps run KBF, added: “The project manager said they will fully commence work on January 20, demolishing the pub, and the rest is going to follow suit, which is great news because people are asking when it’s going to happen.”

For more details on the Kinson Business Forum contact Adam on this email address