Wednesday 23rd November 2022

A new £2.2m convenience store which was officially opened in Bedworth this week is the greenest ever to be launched by the Heart of England Co-operative Society.

Situated on the corner of Goodyers End Lane, the store uses no natural gas, relying instead on 100 per cent renewable electricity, much of which is produced by Scottish wind farms.

It also boasts a state-of-the art refrigeration system which uses one of the lowest GWP (global warming potential) gasses available to ensure minimal impact on the environment. Great use has been made of recyclable materials throughout the building and carrier bags are compostable.

To mark the opening a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the store on November 12. It has been built on the site of the former Cross Keys pub after owners Davenports Brewery declared it was no longer viable.

Ali Kurji, chief executive of the Heart of England Co-op, revealed the convenience store has created 14 jobs, with local contractors chosen to carry out work on the 3,736 sq ft building.

“This is our 37th food store across Coventry, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, and we’re extremely proud that it is our greenest one to date. We expect it to be the most sustainable store in our portfolio,” said Mr Kurji.

“The environment has long been a top priority with us, and we always keep abreast of the latest green technology when we plan a new development.

“Supporting local business is another very important factor for the Society. The main building contractor on our Bedworth store was from Nuneaton, the refrigeration engineers were from Leicester, the roller shutters were made in Coventry, and we brought in fitters from Bedworth, Coventry and Staffordshire.

“They have done a fantastic job in creating a modern and vibrant food shopping experience that will benefit all sectors of the local community from the very young to the elderly.”

The Co-op is well-known for its backing of British farmers and there is a wide range of produce. As well as an extensive range of fresh meat, vegetables, dairy, chilled and frozen food, in-store features include free Wi-Fi, Amazon lockers, self-serve checkouts, a free cash machine and a seating area where customers can relax and recharge.

Costa Coffee is available, whilst a ‘Big Night In’ section offers warm popcorn, nachos and dips. The 16-space car park is protected by security cameras and includes two spaces for the disabled and two electric charging bays.

Steve Browne, general manager of Heart of England Co-op’s food division, has been delighted by the warm feedback received so far from customers.

“The reaction from shoppers has been very positive and our staff have been given many compliments. That is heartening because a great deal of thought and hard work went in to developing this store.”

To mark the opening of Bedworth’s new Co-op, Goodyers End Primary School will be given a donation of £500. Pupils at the school are also being invited to create a section of the community garden in the grounds of the store.

Mr Browne added: “Giving back to and engaging with the local community is central to the co-operative ethos and we look forward to building a good relationship with the school and other groups in the Bedworth area.

“We are partnering with Fareshare and will support the local foodbank. We believe it is vital that any edible, surplus food should not go to waste but should be given to people who need it most.”