Supermarket to close

ONE of Portishead’s last remaining High Street supermarkets will close its doors for the final time on January 3.

Budgens will be shutting up shop after being unable to find a franchisee to take on the store at 60 High Street.

The former Somerfield store was acquired by Co-op in 2009 in a �1billion takeover and was one of 50 stores the Office of Fair Trading insisted were sold on.

A spokesman for Budgens said: “Budgens stores are owned and operated by successful, independent retailers who focus on serving the communities around them.

“As we have not found an independent retailer who wishes to take on the Portishead store, I can confirm that our last day of trading in Portishead will be January 3, 2013.

“Every effort is being made to help the staff affected by the closure and we are providing support for those now looking for alternative employment.”

Loungers Ltd, which has obtained planning permission to change the premises to a caf� bar and create a self contained retail unit which will be let, plans to start work on January 7.

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Alex Reilly, managing director of Loungers Ltd, said: “If all goes according to plan we hope to start work at 60 High Street in January and be open for business by March 6.”

The caf� bar, which will create 20 new jobs, will occupy the front of the building and will include folding doors and outdoor seating, some of which will be under cover.

There will be a new disabled toilet installed on the ground floor with further toilets on the first floor. The entrance to the retail unit will be in Stoke Road.