Sainsbury’s set to open in Billingshurst

Staff outside the new Sainsbury's store in Billingshurst

Staff outside the new Sainsbury's store in Billingshurst

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A buzz of excitement has been spreading around Billingshurst as a new supermarket is set to open.

The new Sainsbury’s Local store, in High Street, is set to become the latest addition to the village.

The national supermarket chain has taken over the unit previously occupied by Budgens and is due to open tomorrow (Thursday August 6) at 7am.

To celebrate the store has planned a ribbon cutting at 9am.

Paul Berry, chairman of Billingshurst BEAT Responders, the store’s chosen charity for 2015, has been invited down to cut the ribbon with store manager Ian Goacher and a whole host of other activities are set to take place throughout the day.

Mr Goacher said: “I am really excited.

“I really want this to be a successful store for the village and the area.

“Obviously it has been a long time coming but what is great for me is when we walked in on Monday our customers and staff were all saying they are desperate for it to open so I am really excited.”

He added all the staff who worked at the previous store had been retained and 20 new jobs had also been created.

Both companies reached a deal over the store back in March and the supermarket was closed whilst conversion works were carried out.

A free bus service was launched whilst the store was closed allowing shoppers to access the Sainsbury’s store in Horsham.

However, three months later the works have been complete and the supermarket is ready to open.

The inside of the shop has been completely refitted with new lights, checkouts and flooring installed.

As well as self service units, belted checkouts have been added at the back of the shop along with a new kiosk, an ATM and a Costa coffee machine.

New products have been bought in with the shop offering a small home and gift selection as well as the usual food and groceries.

The car park has also been resurfaced and a few extra spaces have been added.

“It feels more like a major supermarket than a convince store,” Mr Goacher said.

“We have had brand new ranges designed specially for the store due to its size.

“This is the only one of its kind. It is like a convince store with supermarket products.

“You could do your weekly shop in here.”

He added the store had also donated a defibrillator to support chosen charity BEAT Responders which is located on the outside of the building.

Sarah Trowbridge, regional manager for Sainsbury’s added: “The store looks amazing.

“We have got a great team here waiting to serve Billingshurst.”

The store will be open from 7am until 11pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am until 4pm on Sunday’s.