Co-Op to reopen and expand

PUBLISHED: 13:30 05 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:08 07 July 2011

(click on image for larger view) Fire at the COOP Store in Winscombe.

(click on image for larger view) Fire at the COOP Store in Winscombe.

Archant

A VITAL village shop has been given a reopening date, two-and-a-half months after a fire forced it to close.

The Co-Operative Society store in Winscombe was shut in April following an electrical fire, and the company has now announced that it is set to reopen and extend the branch in mid-September after work to remove asbestos.

The prolonged closure of the Woodborough Road store had drawn criticism from parish councillors and residents, who said it had damaged business in the village.

But a spokesman for the company said: “We can confirm that as part of the work to reopen the shop, the store’s sales area will be extended, although at the moment we do not have any specific dimensions.”

The village’s MP John Penrose welcomed the news, saying: “Before the fire, the shop was very popular with many people in Winscombe (including me), so everyone was understandably worried when rumours of a permanent closure started to swirl.

“Luckily, it turns out that the reason for the delay in repairing the damage is that they’re thinking of extending our shop as part of their refurbishment plans.

“I’m delighted by the good news, and I’m sure everyone else in Winscombe will be too.”

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