The first phase of the Old Square Shopping Centre’s regeneration scheme has been completed with the launch of a new food store, creating 30 new jobs in the town.
The Midcounties Co-operative Food store in Walsall town centre forms part of a multi-million pound project funded and developed by Walsall Council to help revamp the St Matthews Quarter area of the town centre and attract further investment.
The Walsall store will host the Society’s first Coffee Republic franchise, which has created its first fair-trade coffee specifically for the partnership, and will offer town centre users a convenient place to do their weekly shopping as well as everyday essentials.
Walsall Council Leader Mike Bird and Mrs Shaw, Ex-President and lifelong member of Midcounties Co-operative cut the ribbon to the new 7,000 sq. ft. store to mark its grand opening and children from Charles Cody School joined in the celebrations and were given a tour of the store ahead of the official launch on Friday 8th January.
Colleagues also took the opportunity to present a £5,000 cheque to St. Giles Walsall Hospice, which provides specialist care and support to people with life threatening illnesses. The funds were raised collaboratively across The Midcounties Co-operative sites in Walsall last year.
As a part of The Midcounties Co-operative’s commitment to providing a positive impact to the local community, the store will launch Free Fruit Friday to encourage healthy eating among young people. The campaign will see any child that visits the store in a school uniform receive a free apple or banana for the month after opening.
Oliver Holden, Store Manager at The Midcounties Co-operative Food in Walsall, said: “We’re committed to investing in Walsall and have identified a demand for a convenience store in the town centre. We’re proud to be the first store to partner with Coffee Republic and be involved with such an exciting project to refresh the customer offerings in the area.
Walsall Council leader Mike Bird, said: “I’m delighted to welcome The Midcounties Co-operative’s investment in Walsall once again. The food store will give shoppers an alternative to the offer already available in the town centre.
“The redevelopment of this part of the Old Square Shopping Centre has been a huge investment by the Council and a great boost to the town. Primark is a real success – footfall in the area has risen significantly - and I’m delighted to see The Midcounties Co-operative adding another piece of the jigsaw to the regeneration of our town.”
Deputy Leader, Councillor Adrian Andrew added: “It’s excellent news. We have delivered millions of pounds of investment in Walsall town centre and scores of jobs created with many more projects in the pipeline. This shows that Walsall town centre is a place to invest in and do business and I’d like to thank both The Midcounties Co-operative and Primark for showing faith in our town and contributing to its success.”