A NEW convenience store will open its doors in Chickerell, bringing a jobs boost to the area.

The Co-operative is set to open a store on the site of the former Charlestown Garage on Chickerell Road this autumn, representing a £500,000 investment and creating 15 new jobs.

It is the latest store to be unveiled for the area – Aldi will open at Link Park in September creating up to 50 jobs, and another Co-op has been built as part of the Curtis Fields development.

Plans to demolish the Charlestown Garage buildings to make way for a convenience store, a second retail unit, and a takeaway, were approved by district council planners last month.

The proposals also include car parking for up to 24 cars, a loading area and cycle stand.

There are concerns the 3,000 sq ft Co-op store, which will open seven days a week, will affect business at Charlestown Post Office.

Gareth Dexter, Acquisitions Manager for the Co-op in Dorset, said: “We’re looking forward to opening a new store in Weymouth.”

He added: “The new store will also bring a funding boost for community groups through the Co-op’s recently launched Membership scheme.

“Members receive a 5 per cent reward on purchases of own-branded products and services, with a further 1 per cent going directly to local causes to make a difference in the community.”

Good causes being supported by the scheme include Portland Gig Rowing Club, The Lantern Trust, and Wyke Regis Pre-School.

Granby Industrial Estate developer Mickey Jones welcomed the news.

He said: “The more opportunity that services provide for consumers, the better. It gives another decent place our residents and business people can shop at, giving them more choice. It also recognises that Chickerell is one of the busiest towns in the area.”

Despite the jobs boost, concerns have been raised by some members of the Chickerell community.

Cllr Ian Gardner, who represents Chickerell at district and county level, said: “The town council is very concerned that the position of the Co-op will undermine the viability of Charlestown Post Office.

“These issues were raised to the WDDC planning committee but they were not significant enough to warrant a refusal.”

Mayor of Chickerell Mike Jolliffe said: “I just don’t really think there is a need for it. There is a shop there on the corner anyway, we have Aldi opening across the road, another shop in Fiveways and the garage at Lanehouse.”