LYNDHURST’S new Tesco Express store is set to open on Friday, bringing 21 new jobs to the area.
The store, on the village high street in the old Budgens site, will also be a boon for local good causes, the company said, bringing with it food bank donations and Bags of Help funding opportunities.
Ben Smith, the branch’s manager, said supporting the community’s residents will be “hugely important” to store staff in the coming years.
“Although it has been a difficult time for many, we’re hugely excited to be opening our Lyndhurst Express store to help support the community.
“The store opening will provide a real boost for New Forest East, helping to employ and train local people, and it’ll be a pleasure to see our staff grow and develop.
“We are really looking forward to welcoming so much new talent and experience into our Tesco team.
“We will of course also promote Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, with the aim of donating thousands of pounds for local good causes that can help the community to flourish.”
With England currently under lockdown restrictions during the pandemic, Ben said safety at the store will be of the highest importance.
“As always, the safety of our customers and colleagues is our number one priority and we’ve ensured social distancing measures are put in place to ensure everyone is kept safe.
“We are doing this while still offering the community our best service and broad range of products such as fresh food and food to go – and we look forward to welcoming our first customers.”
Community groups in and around Lyndhurst can apply for Bags of Help community funding, Tesco’s blue token scheme which sees three local projects voted on by customers in store every three months, with first place awarded £2,000, second place £1,000 and third place £500.
Since Bags of Help was launched in 2016, the scheme has provided more than £230,000 to 90 projects across New Forest East. Among those benefitting was Applemore College library, which received £4,000 in 2019.
Although voting is currently not taking place due to the pandemic, organisations can still apply for grants at www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.
Another Tesco initiative set to benefit the area is the Community Food Connection Scheme, which aims to provide the most vulnerable with essentials even if they cannot leave home.
Since its launch in 2015, the scheme has donated more than 104,963 meals to local charities in the eastern area of the New Forest. It is run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare. Each month more than one million meals are donated across the country.
The new store will open 6am-11pm daily.