SHOPPERS could be filling their trollies in Sainsbury’s in Bognor Regis in a year’s time – ahead of schedule.
The company has announced the opening of its much-anticipated store along Shripney Road is set to be ready by the end of 2012.
This is earlier than the initial expected opening date of spring 2013 and reflects the progress being made on the site of the £50m store.
It also means up to 400 jobs will be available at the 55,000sq ft outlet with petrol filling station earlier than expected.
“Work to demolish and clear the former Lec Refrigeration site for a new, modern Sainsbury’s store is progressing well,” said a Sainsbury’s spokesman.
“Construction of the store remains on track to begin in 2012.
“The next phase of work will involve the demolition and clearing of the Green Topper Motor Company site.
“This will commence next Tuesday and is the first stage in helping to secure Green Topper’s long-term future in a new purpose-built facility at the site.
“Parallel to these works, Sainsbury’s land remediation contractor, Celtic, has begun works to prepare the ground for the construction of the new store.”
This is necessary to clean up any contamination caused by the previous use of making fridges and freezers as well as the earlier gas-making plant.
Lec arrived at the location just after the second world war and the company’s success went on to dominate Bognor’s industrial scene for five decades.
Some 1,500 workers had jobs there as their products were bought by households around the UK and Europe.
But overseas competition and the need for large-scale investment caused the business to suffer.
The recently-demolished buildings were last occupied in 2003 in spite of a major effort by its last owner, Sime Darby, to keep it going.
The new Sainsbury’s will see a return to the town by the company after 22 years.
It was given the go-ahead by the government because it will help to draw trade back into the town and provide residents with more choice.
The site will also contain a 20,000sq ft building to provide space for new and growing businesses.
Members of the public with questions about the building work should contact Sainsbury’s community information line on 0845 602 1151 or email email@example.com