THERE’S just a month to go until the new Tesco superstore opens next to Fratton Park.
And yesterday, The News was given an exclusive preview along with the Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, Pompey Supporters’ Trust director Ashley Brown and Clare Martin from Pompey in the Community.
The outside of the building is now complete but inside workers scurried around as they faced a race against time to get the store ready for opening on Thursday, November 12.
Shelves laid empty, unopened boxes were on the floor, tills were waiting to be fitted and walls were bare.
But ready to welcome customers, there were signs hanging from the ceiling advertising the different products on sale.
The store will bring 350 jobs to the area with 85 per cent of those going to people in the local community.
Store manager Jon Roberts said: ‘Things are progressing to plan. Everything is going really well.
‘We know that this area of the city is under-served by Tesco. We know that the competition is very busy around here and there’s a real opportunity for us to serve our brand in this area.
‘We expect to get tens of thousands of customers and that’s really exciting for us.’
Mrs Drummond said: ‘The most important thing is that they are getting 350 jobs of which 85 per cent are local.
‘A lot of them will be walking or cycling to work. That’s great for local employment.
‘To have a store this size in the middle of the city is extraordinary.’
Ashley Brown added the club plans to work with Tesco to support the community.
He said: ‘We’re significant neighbours and we have had discussions about the ways we can help each other out. Tesco has committed to working with Pompey in the Community, which is fantastic. We are talking about how best to use this small space that we share.’