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£250,000 being spent on refurbishment at village convenience store

PUBLISHED: 16:36 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:37 13 April 2018

West Runton Village Store is closing for a refurb. Picture shows Andrea and Stuart Loakes outside the shop. Pictures: David Bale

West Runton Village Store is closing for a refurb. Picture shows Andrea and Stuart Loakes outside the shop. Pictures: David Bale

Archant

A couple are spending about £250,000 on the refurbishment of a popular Norfolk convenience store and post office.

West Runton Village Store is closing for a refurb. Pictures: David BaleWest Runton Village Store is closing for a refurb. Pictures: David Bale

West Runton Village Store, near Sheringham, will close after business on Saturday, April 14, and reopen on Tuesday, May 1.

Its husband and wife owners Stuart and Andrea Loakes took over the shop two years ago.

Mr Loakes said: “It was originally a Spar shop but it’s now independent. There has been a shop on the site since about 1924.

“We saw its potential on the north Norfolk coast and we are upgrading it, refitting out the shop and post office. Both are essential to the village and the centre of the community.

“While we are closed people are being advised to go to the post office in Sheringham.

“We are investing about £250,000 in the project. The store will be upgraded with modern fridges, which are eco-friendly, and LED lighting, which is also eco-friendly. There will be a new layout.”

The store has already acquired a new Lavazza coffee machine.

Mr Loakes added: “Convenience shops are changing. They are now more geared towards fresh foods and food to go. The whole store will be more open plan. We also plan to source more Norfolk products, which we could not have done if it had still been a Spar shop.

“People are looking forward to it opening and we’ve got the community on board. And then, in about three month’s time, we will be getting another extension to the shop. We will only have to close the store for a short while on that occasion.”

Customer Allison Annis said: “A lovely community shop which is an asset to the village. Stuart and his staff are very welcoming and I’m looking forward to seeing the new-look shop when it reopens.”

The shop in Cromer Road employs three part-time staff plus Mr and Mrs Loakes.

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