Anchorsholme's new Co-Op store prepares for grand opening
A new co-op store is opening in Anchorsholme next week, and its manager is looking forward to supporting community causes.
The new store, on North Drive on the site of the former Anchorsholme Methodist Church, will open on Friday, May 21.
Store manager Steve Biss who has been with the Co-op as a manager for 11 years, said he was looking forward to getting involved with the Anchorsholme community.
"We had a really good reception when we announced the store opening on social media, and I think we're the right shop to be there on North Drive because we do a lot for the local community," Mr Biss said.
"We've taken on 12 staff at the store who all live locally. The Co-op will actually give us community hours, so we can go out and do litter picking in the area and things like that.
"There's loads of stuff we can do to help out and I'm really looking forward to it."
Co-op stores nationwide run a Local Community Fund, whereby customers can nominate local causes to support through their purchases.
Until October, the North Drive store will be supporting the Fleetwood Wheelchairs scheme, the Friends of Jubilee Gardens in Cleveleys, and the Mustard Seed in Fleetwood.
The store caused controversy in April 2019 when it attracted over 100 objections to its building plans, amid concerns about road safety, traffic, and loss of business for existing small shops in the area.
Further concerns were voiced when the store was granted an alcohol license last year, despite reservations from Anchorsholme councillors Tony Williams and Paul Galley.
They were worried that the store would become a magnet for youths leading to anti-social behaviour in the area if alcohol was sold.
But Richard Arnott, a representative for the Co-op, said the company had a good record as a responsible retailer including when it came to alcohol sales.
He said: “If there are problems we will sort them out quickly. All the staff understand their responsibilities.”
Ahead of the grand opening, Coun Paul Galley said: "Whilst we were concerned about the location of the Co-op store, Tony and myself along with many residents are looking forward to working with the Co-op in supporting our Anchorsholme Covid recovery plan.
"This includes supporting residents' mental health needs, employment support, improving our two parks and library, and from my conversations with the Co-op team already they are keen to do just that and embed themselves in our great Anchorsholme community.”
Coun Tony Williams added: "I was concerned for the shops on East Pines Drive and how this new store would affect them.
"But the building does look very attractive and I hope they do well.
"I hope the original concerns and fears were unfounded and don't materialise, but I understand they are very community-minded and I welcome that."