Jobs boost at Tesco’s Beccles store

A BECCLES supermarket has created 35 new jobs in the town after completing a major revamp of the store.

Tesco unveiled a 10,000sq ft extension on Monday boasting a new pharmacy and clothing department amongst other improvements following more than seven months worth of work.

As part of the refit store manager Jon Whittaker made a �1,000 donation to Beccles Public Hall to help modernise the kitchen facilities.

Mr Whittaker, who has been manager for 18 months, officially re-opened the supermarket alongside Terry Dentith, a director of Beccles Lido Limited, which runs the public hall.

Customers played a key role in determining the changes to the store, with feedback suggesting more choice in fruit, vegetables, meat and frozen food. Shoppers also requested a clothing department with ranges for men, women and children.

As a result the fresh and frozen food ranges are now double the size, the delicatessen and fish counter has improved and there is a fresh meat counter. Costa Coffee, which is based inside, has also had a refit and has doubled its seating capacity.

Mr Whittaker said he was proud of all the work carried out by RG Carter Builders of Norwich, and all the staff who worked around the clock during the week it was closed to get the store ready.

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He said: “We had planning permission on the site I believe since the store opened and there was a long term plan to review the store for extension purposes.

“We have employed 35 people in readiness for the opening, all of which are local. It’s given us an opportunity to give Beccles a great deal of offers and the feedback from customers has been fantastic. People who have spoken to me seem to be pleased that we are contributed to the economy and I think the availability of parking is also something to benefit from.”

He said the donation to the public hall was organised by the store’s community champion who has links in the town.

He said: “We became aware that the public hall had been set up as a charity and we were looking for a charity to support. We had a certain amount of funding available and it was a great opportunity to keep it opening and thriving.”

Work in the public hall will include installing a new extractor fan, new worktops, painting and tiling. The money will also pay for various kitchen utensils.

Mr Dentith, said: “We want to say a big thank you to Jon and the store for thinking of us.”

Customers were offered champagne and cake as they entered the 40,000sq ft store, as well as a free hesian bag with the slogan ‘I love Beccles’.

The celebrations continue on Saturday, September 22, with a family fun day. Customers will be able to enjoy face painting and entertainment, as well as a complimentary hog roast.

Tesco is open from Monday to Saturday, 6am till midnight and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.