Published: 10:06, 25 February 2021
| Updated: 11:24, 25 February 2021
Villagers in Staplehurst are counting down the days until they finally get their own supermarket.
Sainsbury's has announced it will open the doors to its new store on the corner of Station Approach at 9am on Wednesday, March 24 - in just 27 days' time.
The company first submitted a planning application 10 years ago in 2011, but there were delays, first caused by Tesco proposing a rival store a few hundreds yards away, then by the recession and later Covid.
However, now everything is on track as the final touches are added to the building.
The external cladding is nearly complete and contractors have begun installing the internal fittings
The last on a series of highways works will commence soon to create a pedestrian crossing over Station Road and to complete the new roundabout at the store entrance.
The firm has already recruited a number of staff and will be advertising a further 20 temporary positions this week. Details can be found here.
Once open, the 18,000 sq ft supermarket will provide both food and non-food products, including homeware and stationery. It will offer a hot food and pizza counter and there will be an Argos concession inside.
Sainsbury’s property director Patrick Dunne said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with local support for our newest supermarket in the country and I thank everyone who continues to work safely and tirelessly to get the doors open for our customers as soon as possible.
"We’re proud to be making this investment in the village to ensure local residents have a convenient place to do their shopping.”
Kwadwo Osei will be the store manager. He said: “The whole team looks forward to welcoming customers into their fantastic new store. We’re sure customers will love it."