A QUEEN Elizabeth High School student conducted a survey across three schools to find out what young people under 16 think about McDonald's coming to Hexham.

James A. Aitken, 15, is from Hexham and conducted the survey from Wednesday, May 4 until Thursday, May 12.

James said he did the survey because he was amused by the online controversy surrounding the business opening and the discussions among adults in Hexham, and wanted to see if young people felt the same.

McDonald's will open on Tuesday, May 31 for dine-in and takeaway, and local franchisee Nigel Mushens, who owns and operates the restaurant, said: "We are delighted to be opening another brand-new McDonald's restaurant in Hexham and can't wait to see local customers, both new and old, enjoy our services on offer."

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James said: "Although we are unsure of more fast food companies coming to our town, McDonald's have made clear they will control their litter problems of which they have been accused of in the past. This will be achieved by working with The Wombles – the local litter picking group set up in spring 2020."

He collected approximately 350 responses in total, from Queen Elizabeth High School students, from St. Joseph's RC Middle School, and Hexham Middle School by sharing it online, through messaging apps, and through contacts and social groups. 

The results showed 56.1 per cent of people who responded disliked the idea of McDonald's in Hexham, 29.27 per cent liked the thought of the business moving here but would not work for the company, and 16.34 per cent enjoyed the transnational corporation's presence in the local community and would happily be an employee in the future.

"The conclusions we can form from this data is the belief that McDonald's will not be good for Hexham which takes more than half the poll, as it seems that the problems involving litter and the company's previous stance in other areas dominate the common outlook."

"However, the view that McDonald's may be great for the local economy is significant and with the added possibility of recruitment of young workers," James added.

Nigel said: "People are at the heart of our business, and we look forward to welcoming new employees with the jobs and career development opportunities our restaurant will create.

"We're committed to investing in opportunities for a mix of all ages, life stages and backgrounds, promoting flexibility and equality," he added.