ALDI has started fitting out its new store at the Weymouth Gateway site and has donated 3,000 biodegradable carrier bags to a local charitable project to celebrate.

Keep in Touch is an initiative by charity Refresh: the Church of Weymouth and Portland in Action, supported by Weymouth Town Council, to help those most affected by Covid-19. Its services range from picking up prescriptions and offering friendly chats to delivering boxes of everyday essentials to those unable to get to the shops because of illness, self-isolation or financial hardship.

The charity has received a tremendous response from the public and local businesses for donations of both supplies and time but had been struggling with the means to carry the essential items to recipients.

Weymouth Town Council had been particularly keen to source environmentally friendly bags in line with its Climate Emergency commitments but had been frustrated by the significant delays in the product’s supply chains caused by the pandemic. Aldi’s bags provided a perfect solution.

John Richardson, regional managing director of Aldi, said: "Aldi prides itself on being a responsible employer and a positive force for the communities in which we’re located. As the town’s newest arrival, we’re delighted to be able to do our bit to support Weymouth’s residents in these challenging times."

Cherry Clarke of Refresh, said: "We are very grateful to Aldi for this donation. Their bags are the final link in the chain that are enabling us to deliver parcels to those in need in a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly way."

Cllr Gill Taylor, of Dorset Council and Weymouth Town Council, added: "In testing times like these, communities need to pull together to support the most vulnerable and we are grateful for the support we’ve received from local businesses like Aldi."

Aldi’s Weymouth Gateway store will open in September as the first stage of a £50 million regeneration project on both sides of Mercery Road by developers LondonMetric and Avercet, which is expected to eventually create more than 300 jobs.

The store, which is situated next to Sainsbury's on the Gateway site, is on track to open as planned on September 3. It will replace Aldi’s ageing and much smaller Jubilee Retail Park store, which is set to be taken over by a national food retailer. Staff from Aldi’s closing store will transfer to Weymouth Gateway and Aldi hopes to employ at least 15 additional people.