Seventh Suffolk Aldi opens in Martlesham Heath
- Credit: � Nick Strugnell / UNP 0845 600 7737
A brand new Aldi store on the outskirts of Ipswich has officially opened its doors to the public.
Olympic gold medallist Saskia Clark cut the all-important ribbon at the popular budget supermarket in Martlesham Heath on Thursday morning.
Located in Gloster Road, which is near to key stores in Martlesham Retail Park and Beardmore Park, it is the seventh Aldi to open in Suffolk and boasts more than 1,000sq m of retail space.
It will be run by store manager Joe Lawrence, along with a team of 46 colleagues from the surrounding area.
Plans for the store were unanimously approved by Suffolk Coastal District Council's planning committee in March last year, following an outpouring of public support.
Despite formal objections submitted by Martlesham Parish Council and Woodbridge Town Council, planners received more than 886 letters backing the scheme.
Debbie McCallum, who was planning committee chairman at the time, said: "The public want it and that's what we are here to do - to serve our public."
Alistair Close, planning consultant for Aldi, added that the budget supermarket chain was "overwhelmed by the level of support" which was "almost unprecedented for a supermarket planning application".
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Speaking at the opening, Mr Lawrence said: "It's been a fantastic morning here at the store. It was lovely to meet our new customers and I look forward to meeting more of the community in the coming weeks.
"I'd also like to say a big thank you to the wonderful Saskia Clark for joining us."
Ms Clarke, a Team GB sailor who once regularly trained on the River Orwell, added: "It's been an honour to be a part of Aldi's special day.
"I've had a great time talking to both the adults and children of Martlesham Heath about healthy eating and my experience of the Olympics."
As part of the company's Get Set To Eat Fresh campaign, which hopes to teach children about the benefits of cooking healthy food with their families, the Olympian handed out free bags of fresh fruit and vegetables to the first 30 customers in the queue.
Aldi stores have also been opened in Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, Thetford, Brandon and Diss.