Hundreds attend opening of new Seaton Tesco

It was as though the town was waking from its slumbers,Seaton Champion Steph Jones told the crowds

THE opening of Seaton’s new Tesco supermarket on Monday was heralded as a bright new day in the town’s future.

The store had risen “like a phoenix from the ashes” of the Harbour Road regeneration site, town crier David Craner told hundreds who gathered for the official launch.

Before cutting a ribbon to mark the occasion, district councillor and Seaton Champion Steph Jones stressed the importance of the company’s arrival in securing the town’s economic future.

She said: “We now have a wonderful new supermarket giving us a shopping outlet on a scale that befits a town with over 12,000 residents – and providing 217 new jobs.

“But, as we all know, the new store is much, much more than somewhere else for locals to shop. It represents an investment in Seaton by a nationally recognised company – a vote of confidence in the future of our lovely town, just the tonic we need in these difficult times.

“And the vote of confidence in Seaton goes deeper because the area around the store is already looking more inviting, thanks to the public realm work that has been carried out.

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“These are the things we can see today – but there are more improvements in the pipeline.”

Mrs Jones said they looked forward to seeing more shoppers from the surrounding area coming to Seaton and, hopefully, going on to see the rest of the town centre, where they wanted to see still more improvements.

She continued: “It feels like Seaton is starting to wake from a slumber and I know I speak for my two fellow ward members, Jim Knight and Peter Burrows, when I say that I have great hopes for the future economy of the town.”

After the ceremony a cheque for �1,000 was presented to community group Seaton’s Voice by manager Ian Dyer.

Accepting the gift, Carole Manley said: “The donation will open up more opportunities for us to reach more people, especially those who are isolated in the local community.

“We will use the money to print and send out literature to local people informing them of the range of services we aim to offer in the new year and invite them to take part.

“We want to support carers or people with dementia, working with others so they can attend activities at the town hall and get a few hours respite. Our organisation works closely with people who are looking to set up groups of their own and this very kind donation from Tesco will also assist us in this aspect of our work.”

The store, which was packed for the opening, with not a car parking space to be had, has provided 190 new jobs – including one for town crier Mr Craner.

Mr Dyer said they intended to work closely with the community and would be supporting the Christmas in Seaton event on Friday December 9.

“The store is going to install a fantastic ice rink I in the car park and will also be offering complimentary mulled wine and roast chestnuts,” he said. The rink will remain at the store on Saturday.

Seaton Tesco is open from 7am to midnight Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sundays. The petrol station opens from 6am to midnight seven days a week.

* First customer through the doors at 8am on Monday was three-year-old Ruby Llewellyn, with her mum Jesse. She got a special welcoming gift of a box of chocolates.