Waterlooville store opens again after major blaze

OPEN AGAIN Store manager Sam Saunderson, holding the scissors, opens the shop with Ali George, right, the corporate and trust fundraiser from The Rowans Hospice. Picture: Sarah Standing (131922-1036)
OPEN AGAIN Store manager Sam Saunderson, holding the scissors, opens the shop with Ali George, right, the corporate and trust fundraiser from The Rowans Hospice. Picture: Sarah Standing (131922-1036)

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A FIRE-RAVAGED supermarket has risen from the ashes after almost two years.

The Tesco Express store and pharmacy in Lavender Road, Stakes, Waterlooville, was destroyed by arsonists in September 2011. Those responsible have never been arrested in connection with the crime.

The pharmacy reopened earlier this month to the delight of residents. Staff had spent almost two years dispensing medicines out of a portable cabin.

On Tuesday the new supermarket building was officially opened by Ali George from The Rowans Hospice.

Tesco gave the Purbrook charity a donation of £500 to show its commitment to the local community.

And, in addition to the 10 original members of staff seven new recruits have joined the team.

Tesco Express store manager Sam Saunderson said: ‘We’re delighted to be open again and serving our local community.

‘We’ve really enjoyed our store launch celebrations and I’d like to thank Ali for joining us.

‘We’re delighted to support The Rowans Hospice as it is a great charity which carries out such invaluable work in the Waterlooville community.’

She added: ‘We are hearing positive feedback from our new customers.

‘My staff and I want to make this a local store for local people, and aim to give our customers fantastic service and prices as well as providing a wide range of quality products.’

Ali said, ‘£500 is the equivalent of making a day of in-patient care possible for one patient at The Rowans Hospice.’

The store is open seven days a week, 7am to 11pm.