Central England Co-op invests over £8 million in new stores and improvements during 2021 – over £2.4 million of which was in Cambridgeshire
- Despite continued challenges caused by the pandemic and supply chain disruption Central England Co-op has continued investing in its communities during the last 12 months
- Over £8 million invested in three new stores, 40 store regenerations, as well as a new coffee shop and florists
- In Cambridgeshire, over £2.4 million was invested in transforming existing food stores and launching one brand new store
- The Society is planning even more investment in 2022 including more brand new stores and regenerations and investment in its funeralcare business
Central England Co-op has revealed it has invested over £8 million and created dozens of new jobs as part of major expansion plans during 2021 – despite the ongoing challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain disruption.
Throughout the year the Society has opened three new food stores, a new coffee shop and florists as well as relaunching more than 40 food stores following a major refit programme.
The major development programme has seen investment in the following areas: Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
In Cambridgeshire the Society revamped sites in Hempsted, March and Sawtry and launched a brand new store in Ely Road, Sutton, investing over £2.4 million.
The food stores now offer shoppers a more expansive range of products and are fitted out with pioneering new energy efficient refrigeration technologies and LED lighting to minimise environmental impact, while all stores are powered by 100% renewable energy.
Many of the stores also include enhanced food to go sections, indoor and outdoor seating, bike repair stations, customer toilets and self-scan till points.
Links also continued to be forged with the local community via inviting local schools to design special pieces of artwork that have now been placed on the inside or outside of the stores.
Store Manager Sam Lefevre said: “All of us here at Central England Co-op across our trading area are proud to be part of such great communities and the investment in new and revamped, more modern food stores in the last 12 months has given everyone a real boost in these uncertain times.”
The Society’s funeralcare business’s major investment in 2021 saw it welcome 50 new homes and two vehicle logistics sites following an agreement with the Midcounties Co-operative, extending Central England Co-op’s offering to other areas of the Midlands, the Southwest and Southeast of England.
Further investment is planned for the funeral business over the coming 12 months, while an ambitious new store and regeneration programme in the Society’s food business is also planned for 2022.
Notes to editors
About Central England Co-operative
Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.
Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 8,000 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 20 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.
It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.
The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.
It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.
Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.
Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle
Phone - 01543 421390