Mid Wales

No M&S Foodhall sign amid Welsh language planning row

New M&S store in Aberystwyth with no food hall sign
Image caption The store's Park Avenue entrance has no external Foodhall sign

A new Marks and Spencer store has opened in Aberystwyth without its foodhall sign after it refused to provide a Welsh language translation.

Ceredigion councillors said all signs at the new branch should be in Welsh and English.

But the firm said "Foodhall" was a brand name and was not translated anywhere.

M&S removed the planned sign from its original application to allow the store to open but has now lodged a fresh one.

The firm's new application reiterates its claim that M&S Foodhall is a brand name under the Marks and Spencer trademark.

It said there was no legal requirement for it to provide bilingual signs as the law only applies to public sector bodies and private firms in the gas, electricity, postal and railway industries.

It added it did not translate branded signs in its international stores in countries such as Turkey, Ireland and India.

Aberystwyth Town Council has once again objected to the application, saying it expected the Welsh language "to be at least as prominent as the English".

Chris Bentley, M&S Aberystwyth store manager, said: "All directional signage in-store will be bilingual and colleagues that speak Welsh can be identified via badges this is in line with our language policy created with the Welsh Language Commissioner."

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