Solar set to shine in Felixstowe

SHOPPERS in Felixstowe can look forward to major improvements to the town's biggest store complex - with work under way on a £1.2 million makeover.The East of England Co-operative Society is carrying out the work at its Solar Supermarket, the adjoining Great Eastern Square shopping precinct, Home Store, pharmacy and opticians in Hamilton Road, as well as re-branding its petrol station in High Road West.

SHOPPERS in Felixstowe can look forward to major improvements to the town's biggest store complex - with work under way on a £1.2 million makeover.

The East of England Co-operative Society is carrying out the work at its Solar Supermarket, the adjoining Great Eastern Square shopping precinct, Home Store, pharmacy and opticians in Hamilton Road, as well as re-branding its petrol station in High Road West.

The work will take until the end of June to complete and has been carefully planned to ensure the businesses stay open, though the weekly market on the railway station forecourt and old platform has been forced to move for three months because of scaffolding put up for outside repairs.

Stallholders have a temporary home on the corner of Garrison Lane and High Road West.

The 22,000 sq ft Solar is undergoing a complete transformation - exterior decoration is taking place, work to improve the bakery area, and the store's frozen food section is being relocated.

The supermarket will have all new fixtures, refrigeration and greengrocery units.

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The new layout will enable a sandwich shop to be introduced as well as a new salad and delicatessen area to include local fresh products.

Work at the pharmacy includes creating a consulting room where customers can seek advice from the pharmacist in private.

David Preston, manager of Solar since it opened in 1985, said staff were really looking forward to the work being completed.

“I've seen the society's new store format and it is completely different to what we currently have and is fresh, modern and bright,” he said.

“It's going to be three months of intense work and we will limit the disruption to our customers as best we can, but I'm sure they will enjoy the improvements once they have been done.”

Chief executive of the East of England Co-operative Society, Richard Samson said: “This major investment in Felixstowe town centre is part of our multi-million pound development programme across the East of England Co-op's trading area involving building, refurbishing and re-branding existing stores, while also planning new developments for the future.

“We have a whole range of businesses in the centre of Felixstowe and it is an opportunity for us to showcase what the East of England Co-op is all about.”

Do you think the Co-op complex needs a makeover? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk