The opening of Sudbury’s new Sainsbury’s supermarket was greeted with optimism as the store was lauded as a “tremendous asset” for the town.
Shoppers queued to enter the store in Cornard Road when it opened on Wednesday, following a six-month building project.
The former William Armes factory site has been transformed to include a 304-space car park, cycle park and cafe. It has created around 250 full and part-time jobs.
Paralympian Jonathan Adams, from Great Cornard, was on hand to welcome customers, along with store manager Martin Pyle.
“I feel fantastic and really proud,” said Mr Pyle. “There has been a great response from the community and I am bowled over.”
The 46-year-old said although there had been concerns that the store would take shoppers away from independent shops, he did not agree with this view.
“The store is a positive,” he said. “Although people will shop with us, they will go on to the town centre.”
Sainsbury’s has pledged nearly £500,000 of section 106 money – funds to offset the impact of large developments – to help improve Sudbury, and mayor Jack Owen said he was pleased the supermarket had come to fruition.
“This is a tremendous asset for Sudbury and Sainsbury’s has shown commitment to the town by helping many young people off the dole queue,” he said.