Bingley residents eager to see plans for a new Aldi foodstore packed into a preview exhibition yesterday.

The discount food retailer is riding high during tough times, with 500 UK stores and plans to open 50 every year. And the old Lilycroft Mills site in Midland Hill is its latest venture in the district.

Retired nursing assistant Mary Davies and her husband Donald have long been converted to the no-frills approach of the German-owned chain.

“It’d be just perfect for us as we only live in Church Street,” said retired nursing assistant Mrs Davies, 78. “At the moment we drive to Aldi in Shipley and Keighley.

“I love their jam and pickles – and they do a lovely tea loaf with a bit of whisky in it. Opening in Bingley would be a right good idea – the sooner the better!”

Former Damart worker Marjorie Walsh, of Belgrave Road, said that in lean economic times Aldi would suit the town well. I think it’d be very good for us in Bingley. We’ve only got the Co-op and it would be a great help to people to have somewhere cheaper. “I always shop at Aldi because the food’s good, fresh and very reasonable,” said Mrs Walsh, 80. Bingley Chamber of Trade president Howard Martin was also at the exhibition in Cardigan House community centre, and gave the proposed store his support.

“At last we have a tick and not a cross against Bingley,” Mr Martin said. “We have suffered a lot of negative things with the closure of Bradford and Bingley and the delay over what Sainsbury’s are doing with the site. Hopefully this will go smoothly and be open next year."

Aldi’s property manager Mike Clarke said the company had been looking at Bingley for a long time until it found the ideal spot.

“Our approach of simplicity and efficiency allows us provide quality at a discount, which people like,” said Mr Clarke.

The proposed store would deliver 30 full and part time jobs.

Mr Clarke said the next step was to put in a formal planning application at the earliest opportunity.