‘Six figure sum’ spent on revamping co-op stores and funeral homes in Suffolk

The newly revamped Rickinghall Co-op

The newly revamped Rickinghall Co-op - Credit: Archant

Central England Co-operative has revealed it has invested over £13.4 million nationwide and created dozens of jobs as part of ongoing efforts to improve their customer experience in 2018.

Throughout the year the Society, which is based in Lichfield and trades from more than 400 sites across the Midlands and East Anglia, has opened 10 new food stores and six new funeral homes as well as relaunching 22 funeral sites and 30 convenience stores.

In Suffolk, the Society has invested over six figures this year with further investment planned across 2019 and beyond.

Recent projects have included a refit of its Rickinghall Food Store.

The major development programme has seen individual areas such as Derbyshire receive over £4 million, Leciestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham and the West Midlands receive over £1m each and £700,000 spent in Yorkshire.

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The revamps have brought in new fixtures and fittings including the latest in pioneering new energy efficient refrigeration technologies to minimise environmental impact and LED lighting.

Co-operative store manager Peter Sayers, who is based in Sheffield, said: “All of us here at Central England Co-operative Food Stores across our trading area are proud to be part of such great communities and are looking forward to welcoming all customers, old and new, to come and enjoy our new and revamped food stores.”

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The work throughout the year has been part of an ambitious food store and funeral home development programme, with further investment planned during 2019.

Customers and members will also be able to enjoy a range of community benefits as a result of the Society’s investment.

Last year, thousands of pounds were handed out to groups in the city from Central England Co-operative’s Community Dividend Fund. A total of 152 groups shared over £187,000 during 2018.

The fund guarantees that at least one per cent of the Society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities in a bid to help projects to thrive across its trading area.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time they spend in store to earn a share of the profits to accessing member activities.

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