No-to-Tesco march will celebrate Mill Road

Mill Road area residents, shoppers and traders will march in a show of opposition to Tesco’s plans to open a store on Cambridge’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan street. 10,000 postcards advertising the march have been distributed in the city, and the organisers expect a huge show of support from people who value the real choice and diversity offered by Mill Road’s independent shops [1].

The marchers will gather on the green beside Parkside swimming pool (known locally as Donkey Common) at 12 noon on Saturday 24th November.

Before the march begins, Mill Road shopkeepers and concerned local politicians will say a few words, and there will be messages of support from other groups who are fighting to keep Tesco out of their communities -including some who have succeeded [2].

The march will end at the former Wilco site on Mill Road Broadway, which Tesco had already secured with a 15-year lease before making its plans public.

“As we want to cause minimum disruption to the busy life of Mill Road, when we reach the Wilco site we will keep the proceedings brief before dispersing,” said NoMillRoadTesco campaign coordinator Sonia Cooter.

Tesco already has three supermarkets and three smaller Express stores in the city, and according to the UK’s Competition Commission, pockets 51 pence out of every pound spent on groceries in Cambridge [3].

Research has shown that money spent at independent shops continues to circulate locally, supporting a range of jobs from window-cleaners to accountants. Supermarkets tend to make use of large cleaning, accountancy and other business services companies from outside the area, and this money – and the jobs it pays for – are lost to the local economy [4].

“When we first proposed the march, somebody suggested that we make it a funeral for Mill Road, complete with hearse,” Sonia Cooter added. “But the huge groundswell of public opinion reflected in the 4000-plus petition signatures and 1100 written objections have convinced us that Tesco can be beaten. We have therefore decided to make the march a celebration of Mill Road’s life and culture.”

For interviews on the day, contact Richard Rippin

For other contacts see

Notes for editors

[1] A shopping basket comparison between a local Tesco Express store and the independent shops on Mill Road, debunked the myth that Tesco brings lower prices. See here for details:

[2] The campaign against Tesco on Mill Road is supported by groups and parties across the community and the political spectrum. See: for details.

[3] . For a summary, see

[4]  “Buying local worth 400 per cent more”, New Economics Foundation and Northumberland County Council, March 2005:

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