Community joins celebrations as SPAR UK James Hall & Co. opens SPAR Willington
A new £3 million (€3.6 million) SPAR UK convenience store has opened in the village of Willington. The new 279 m2 SPAR and Shell-branded forecourt has created 27 jobs and transformed the Park View Garage site on the A690. SPAR Willington is James Hall & Co. Ltd.’s 157th company-owned SPAR store and its 46th forecourt.
A queue of Willington residents formed at the door on the opening day as the red carpet was rolled out, the ribbon was cut, and camera flashguns flared to mark the occasion.
The Mayor of Greater Willington Town Council, Cllr Ken Henfrey, joined Deputy Mayor Angela Smith and County Cllr Olwyn Gunn to open the store with Dominic Hall, Deputy Managing Director, and Fiona Drummond, Company Stores Director, both of James Hall & Co. Ltd.
A family fun day attended by an estimated 250 people was also held as part of the opening weekend. It featured balloon modeling, face painting, a raffle, and goody bags for children and adults. Funds raised at the event will go to SPAR UK charity partner Marie Curie.
Highlight in-store features include a butcher’s counter, deli, a hot beverage unit, a range of fresh and frozen foods, food to go, major branded products, beers, wines, and spirits.
The forecourt features six pumps, water, air, and vacuum machines, an ATM, and customer parking.
Doreen Taylor, 62, from Willington, was one resident visiting on launch day. She said, “I had a good look around, and I’m hugely impressed with the store. It’s much bigger than I thought it would be; the range is excellent; and it has wide aisles, which are great.”
“My daughter Ann is employed at the SPAR as well and has been counting down the days to the opening weekend.”
Ahead of the launch, James Hall & Co. Ltd., SPAR UK’s primary wholesaler and distributor for the North of England, has put community center stage with sponsorship and contributions to local charities and sports initiatives.
These include support for the Willington Association Football Club and a donation to the Durham Foodbank, which supports those in need in Willington.
County Cllr Olwyn Gunn, who represents Willington and Hunwick ward on Durham County Council, said: “Willington has been waiting for this for a long time. I’m delighted to see the SPAR store and Shell forecourt bring back to life the derelict garage that was previously here.
“There has been significant investment in the site, and a key aspect is job creation for local people. It is a great asset for Willington and the surrounding area, and I’m certain it will have local support and that of passing trade.”
Fantastic entrance feature
The Mayor of Greater Willington Town Council, Cllr Ken Henfrey, said: “It’s an excellent store, and it raises the quality of the area. We’ve had the ambition to improve this gateway into Willington for some time. The SPAR store and Shell forecourt are a fantastic entrance feature.
“I know SPAR has been working to support local organisations in the run-up to the store opening. I hope this can be the beginning of a strong working relationship between retailer and community.”
“We had a tremendous opening weekend in Willington and already feel like part of the village”, said Fiona Drummond, Company Stores Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd.
“Our offer in-store and on the forecourt is absolutely fantastic in terms of range and value, and the warm reception this has had by the Willington residents reflects this.”
Source: SPAR UK