Budget supermarket chain Aldi will open a store on the Kings Road car park next year, the Gazette can exclusively reveal.
The German firm this week signed papers to take on the site and build a 3,500 sq ft shop next to rivals Morrisons.
A planning application will be submitted within 12 weeks, with building work expected to start in the spring or summer and last four or five months.
Aldi will open a store on the Kings Road car park
The news brings to an end speculation about the identity of the supermarket interested in taking on the site.
It is also set to act as a catalyst for the long-heralded regeneration of Herne Bay town centre, with the ambitious plans said to have hinged on securing a supermarket chain.
Regeneration specialists Coplan Estates held talks with Morrisons about it relocating its Beach Street store to the car park.
But when a potential deal fell through they were left seeking other options, putting on hold the town-wide blueprint, which includes a shopping complex on the William Street car park.
Colin McQueston, of Coplan Estates, said: “We’re delighted to have finally secured the operator.
“The next step is to submit a planning application to Canterbury City Council.
“We spent a number of years talking to Morrisons to see if they would relocate to the site and it was disappointing they decided not to.
“Aldi has won Which? supermarket of the year for the last two years running and we’re sure will prove very popular within Herne Bay.
“We’re hoping this will be a catalyst for the second phase of the proposal. It’s good news at last.”
The initial proposals had included a multi-storey car park above any supermarket, but the new plans will instead have 82 spaces next to the new Aldi store.