WATCH: First look around Portsmouth’s new Aldi store as it opens its doors

OLYMPIC gold medallist and 2016 GB hockey hero Susannah Townsend cut the ribbon on a new shop.

The sporting star was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the new Aldi, in Southampton Road, Paulsgrove.

The new Aldi in North Harbour Picture: Malcolm Wells (180308-9791)

She sliced through the red ribbon with the help of pupils from St Pauls RC Primary School, before later visiting the Paulsgrove primary to talk to children about her experience in the Olympics.

Susannah said: ‘I don’t know Portsmouth very well so it’s been nice to come down and see the impact that the new store has.

‘It’s an incredible store and has got a great population around it. So it’s been really great to be able to open it.’

As well as having selfies with shoppers, Susannah also handed out free bags of fruit and vegetables to the first 30 lucky people in the store.

Susannah Townsend and pupils from St Paul's RC Primary School Picture: Malcolm Wells (180308-9738)

Store manager Mark Dunnington said: ‘It’s been great to have Susannah here as part of our grand opening, it’s not every day you get to meet a gold medallist.

‘We’d like to thank everyone who came down to see the new store and we look forward to welcoming customers through the doors in the coming weeks and months.’

The new outlet spans over 1,254 sqm and boasts 117 parking bays. It has also created 23 new jobs for the area.

Dorothy Fry, of Paulsgrove, was delighted with the area’s new shopping addition and was one of the first through the doors.

Chris Pointing, left, with husband Terry Pointing from Portchester and Cheryl Seels from Cosham ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180308-9786)

The 73-year-old said; ‘It’s beautiful. It’s lovely. I shall be coming down here on my disability scooter.

‘I used to go to the one in Kingston Crescent but I will definitely be coming here instead.’

Barbara Young, 76, of Paulsgrove, said she was looking forward to shopping at the new outlet.

‘I like Aldi,’ she added. ‘This is near to where I live. I live just over the back.’

Councillor Rob New, cabinet member for the environment, said Aldi would be a key addition to the area.

He added the city council had invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in securing new business space near the site.

Cllr New said: ‘It’s great to see the regeneration of Paulsgrove. The area had been starved of cash for a long time and regeneration is finally on the way. Paulsgrove deserves it.’

The supermarket is open seven days a week and is still recruiting.

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