A POPULAR supermarket in the heart of Dudley town centre is to close amid plans to build a new £24m bus station.

Farmfoods, off Fisher Street, will cease trading on September 17 as bosses failed in their attempts to strike a deal to relocate to a bigger premises in the town centre.

Dudley Council, meanwhile, will now press ahead to demolish the building – opposite Birdcage Walk – next month to construct a new ‘transport interchange’ that will link bus and tram services across the Black Country.

Alistair Kay, property director at Farmfoods, said of the upcoming supermarket store closure: “Our shop in Dudley sits within the development site for the new interchange in the town centre.

“We understand the existing bus station is the second busiest in the region but is no longer considered fit for purpose.

“We have been in negotiation with the council over an extended period of time and despite attempts to identify an alternative site for us to relocate to, unfortunately nothing suitable has been found. The shop will, therefore, close next month.”

Farmfoods were in a 10-year lease with the building up until 2027 but Dudley Council secured a compulsory purchase order to officially take over the site. Council chiefs, meanwhile, have confirmed that work on Dudley’s all-new multi-million pound bus interchange is expected to begin this winter.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said: “We hope to see work start in the winter and it is a key part of our £1 billion regeneration programme to change the skyline of Dudley forever and make it a more attractive place to work, live, and visit.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “This Interchange will vastly improve public transport connections for town centre visitors and businesses – giving local people the more modern, convenient and environmentally friendly bus and tram facilities they deserve.”