Co-op open £2.2m store at Sutton near Ely
- Credit: Co-op
Central England Co-op opened its £2.2m store in Sutton, creating 15 jobs and including a phone charging area.
The Ely Road store, powered fully by renewable energy, also has a bicycle repair station, electric car charging points, and a free hot and cold-water refill station.
A collection point will support Ely Food Bank and store manager Rebecca Mott made the first donation of food and essentials.
“It is great to finally open”, she said.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank residents for their patience. It has been long-awaited, but hopefully everyone will enjoy the store as much as we do.”
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Bren Francis of Ely Food Bank, said: “The collection point will provide a real boost to our stock levels enabling us to give food to those in need.
“We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis.
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“We partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and police to identify people in crisis who issue them with a foodbank voucher.
“A simple box of food makes a big difference. Our current shortages are tea, coffee, squash, juice and tinned fish.”
In line with the latest Government guidance, the store has a range of social distancing measures in place.
These include special floor markings, external queuing, hygiene measures such as an automated hand sanitising station upon entry and safety devices such as plastic screens at checkouts and face coverings and visors for all colleagues.
The Ely Road Co-operative food store is open from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday.
The Central England Co-op development in Ely Road also includes a second smaller retail unit which will house a food takeaway. The Co-op hopes it will bring more facilities and employment to the community in coming months.
The store was due to open before Christmas but road works held it up.
Cllr Lorna Dupre said the delay was to enable the county council and the developer to finalise the legal handover of the road so that the roadworks could start.