Tesco accused of forcing out refugee charity

Tesco has been labelled “short-sighted” and “mean” after raising the price on a charity headquarters by almost £50,000.

Saheliya, which supports female refugees and asylum seekers, put in a bid for St Rollox House in Glasgow after using the building as a base.

Tesco had reportedly offered the property for £305,000, which the charity claimed was “significantly above the valuation” but nevertheless “worked to be able to offer the full amount”.

The Big 4 grocer is then said to have raised its asking price to £350,000.

READ MORETesco sales momentum slows as lockdown lifts

“We submitted an offer of £305,000 explaining the impossibility of ever being able to afford £305,000,” a Saheliya spokesperson said.

“We provided extensive architect plans, explained the importance of the building for marginalised women surviving violence and for the development of our childcare services.

“After repeatedly asking for a response, we eventually received a one-line email advising that Tesco will not be selling the premises to us.”

The allegations drew condemnation on social media, with one Twitter user saying the “terrible” decision “contradicts everything Tesco says about supporting the community”.

“Shame on @tesco for doing this,” wrote another woman who had been helped by the charity.

“Saheliya provides important services for the community and we have worked with it for a number of years to lease the property to it at a reduced rate,” a Tesco spokesperson said.

“The current lease runs until at least December 2024 and we are unfortunately not currently in a position to make any long-term decisions on St Rollox House.”

The news comes after Tesco donated £240,000 to three charities to mark Pride Month.

Tesco Booker chief executive Andrew Yaxley said the supermarket was “delighted” to help groups which “provide such valuable support to the LGBTQ+ community.” 

Supermarkets

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