Tesco buys Drayton supermarket

A Drayton store has been bought by Tesco – but this means the community will be without a local supermarket for months.

The Budgens supermarket, on Fakenham Road has been bought by Tesco and is set to close on December 23 with a refurbished and extended Tesco store reopening in autumn of 2012.

But the possible nine-month gap is a worry for local residents who use Budgens as their primary store for food shoping.

Hilary Kisby, chairman of Drayton Parish Council, said: 'Budgens is a central place to shop, especially for the elderly and for those with limited mobility.

'Everyone is going to be very upset at this news.'

The nearest supermarket is Asda, on the Drayton High Road. Mrs Kisby said: 'Asda is a very large store, and it can be an overwhelming place for the elderly to shop.

'On top of that, getting shopping back to Drayton can be difficult if you don't have your own transport.

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'We just don't have any of these issues with Budgens: it's convenient and really feels like a local shop.'

There is already a Tesco Express in both Taverham and Thorpe Marriott.

On the new Drayton store, Tesco said: 'This will be one of our smaller sized supermarkets, but big enough for people to do a full weekly shop.

'This differs from the Express store in Taverham which is designed for 'top up' shopping.'

Effects on the local community were described by Mrs Kisby of the Parish Council as 'devastating'.

She said: 'I can't understand why it's going to take Tesco so long to extend and refurbish the store.

'We could manage for a month or two, but not for nine months, and all the staff are absolutely devastated.'

The Tesco spokesperson said: 'All the existing Budgens staff will be welcome to apply for the 115 jobs at the new store which will be advertised locally.'

No-one from Budgens was available to comment.

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