People on Portland are bracing themselves ahead of a road closure which is expected to cause major disruption.

The A354 up through Fortuneswell will close for two days next week and again for one day in February.

This is to allow £500,000 worth of refurbishment work to be carried out at the Co-op supermarket, which was targeted in a ram-raid in November, causing extensive damage.

A crane lift will be used for the revamp, so the road will be blocked.

The road up through Fortuneswell will be closed between Mallams and High Street between 10am-3pm on Monday, January 27, Tuesday, January 28, and on Wednesday February 5.

Traffic heading up beyond Fortuneswell to Tophill will instead be diverted into High Street, usually the one-way system for vehicles coming down into Chiswell and heading off the island.

For these three dates, the one-way order in High Street will be suspended. Temporary lights will control traffic, allowing a flow of vehicles going down the street and then up.

The Co-op store on Fortuneswell, Portland will close for more than two weeks as part of the work. JM Scully is the company contracted to do the refit.

The store will be closed at 4pm on Sunday, January 26 and will reopen on Thursday, February 13.

Cllr Rob Hughes, who lives on High Street, said: "It is essential work due to the service the shop provides to the community. It's open seven days a week until 11pm and I'm glad that they are improving their service instead of closing down because there are a lot of empty shops in Fortuneswell.

"It's unfortunate but with the High Street being one way there's no other way to do it. I know people will be on their way to work but at least it is being done at a quiet time of the year.

"People will be inconvenienced sadly but if it keeps the convenience store open I think people will be ok with it.

"At the end of the day the store trades 364 days a year. As far as I know the only day it closes is Christmas. The staff do a wonderful job so I'm pleased that Co-op are investing in the store."

'Significant investment in store'

CO-OP will be investing half a million pounds into the renovation of its Fortuneswell store, with a focus on renewable energy.

The store embarks on its £500,000 overhaul on Sunday, January 26 and is set to re-open on Thursday, 13 February.

The new-look store will run on 100 per cent renewable electricity and will also include an enhanced bakery and fresh produce range, healthy products, food-to-go, vegan and free-from foods, Fairtrade products, award winning wines and, essentials.

A spokesman for the Co-op said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to carry out such significant investment in Fortuneswell - the store will have a great new-look and range, and our aim will continue to be to operate at the heart of local life, and create value in our community.

“We would like to thank the community for its patience, and apologise for any inconvenience, during the works. And we look forward to welcoming customers old and new into their new-look Co-op.”