A family fun day has added a celebratory feel to the launch week of a new SPAR convenience store in Bacup.
The Mayor of Rossendale Cllr Jackie Oakes cut the ribbon to officially declare the new 3,000 sq. ft. SPAR and Shell branded forecourt open on Thursday.
Residents queued up as the clock ticked around to the 11am opening time to take advantage of launch day deals, and the first 50 customers through the doors also received their tea for free.
A traditional 1953 delivery wagon belonging to James Hall & Co. Ltd was on display on the opening day as a point of interest for visiting customers. The company is SPAR UK’s primary wholesaler and distributor for the North of England, and is owner and operator of the new SPAR in Bacup.
On Saturday, hundreds of people from Bacup and Rossendale accepted the invitation to attend a family fun day at the newly renamed Holmes Service Station which is on the site of the former hub in Burnley Road.
The 2nd Rossendale Scout Group and Brass Band performed live music, and there was face painting opportunities, a raffle, the chance to meet the SPAR mascot, and goody bags for children and adults who attended on the day.
Fundraising from the raffle has been donated to Bacup Family Centre, offering individuals and families in need with a helping hand.
The M3 Project, a charity that can help with advice, support and accommodation for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, were also in attendance to raise awareness of their services, and both the Family Centre and the M3 Project received a donation of Easter eggs from the store.
After a £3m investment and complete overhaul of the site, the new SPAR and Shell forecourt is open between 6am and 11pm seven days a week, and has created 30 jobs for local people.
The forecourt features six fuel pumps, a jet wash, an ATM machine and customer parking, while inside the SPAR store, there is a high-quality Graham Eyes butchers counter and Clayton Park deli.
A range of refreshment options includes Cheeky Coffee, F’Real milkshakes and smoothies, and a Tango Ice Blast machine.
There is also a comprehensive range of fresh foods, food to go, major branded products, and beers, wines and spirits to meet customer demand.
The Mayor of Rossendale, Cllr Jackie Oakes, said: “I’m delighted to see the site take on a new lease of life after such a long period of dilapidation. I’m amazed how spacious the store is and the range it has inside – I’d forgotten what a large footprint the site has.
“With the jobs it has created, the SPAR is now a significant employer in Bacup, and it is brilliant that these jobs are benefiting local people.
“I think the butchers is fantastic, the fresh coffee is really good, and it is a real treat to have a fresh bakery and deli. I will definitely be a regular user of the site for fuel and shopping.”
David France, who lives in Bacup, was one resident to visit on the opening day. He said: “My wife and I like SPAR as there is usually a good deal on, and we visit one in Burnley quite often.
“This new SPAR store in Bacup is very convenient for us, and the fuel station is ideal as there are not many in the area. The butchers counter inside the new store is great, and my grandson will love the drinks machines.”
Karen Burgess, who also lives in Bacup, visited with her mum for the opening. She said: “I live on the other side of town and I’ve been monitoring the progress when I have been travelling past on the bus. The waiting is over and it’s brilliant that the SPAR is now here. I think it is what we needed.
“The prices are very good, and I think the voucher scheme has brought people in for the opening day. I really like the store, and I‘ll definitely be back. We would have walked home but we’ve done so much shopping that we’ve had to call a taxi!”
Ahead of the launch, James Hall & Co. Ltd put the local community at the heart of the opening with sponsorship and contributions.
The 2nd Rossendale Scouts and Brass Band were one organisation to benefit from a donation, and another to receive sponsorship was Bacup Borough Football Club.
Fiona Drummond, Company Stores Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd said: “Nurturing Our Neighbourhoods and Passionate About Local are two of SPAR’s brand pillars, and we have wholeheartedly brought that to Bacup for this launch.
“We’ve put a tremendous amount into developing this SPAR store and forecourt, and we have added impetus to how we have launched the store in terms of community engagement too.
“It has been a very exciting opening weekend – truly one of the best that I can remember – and we have had fantastic feedback from the many customers who have visited the store.
“We are more confident than ever that after a successful launch, it meets the needs of the local community here in Bacup, and it will be a real asset for people in the town.”
You can find out more information about James Hall & Co. Ltd at www.jameshall.co.uk.