Work 'up and running' at site of store destroyed in fire
- Credit: Daniel Hickey
There were smiles of relief and excitement at a construction site in Holt as work began on replacing the Budgens supermarket that burned down last year.
Carl Milton, managing director of the CT Baker group, the supermarket's franchisee, marked the start of work on the new store on Monday, November 29 by putting the first ceremonial spade in the ground.
The former building in Kerridge Way,was destroyed in a blaze in June 2020 due to an electrical fault, and a temporary shop was later set up opposite the site.
Mr Minton said: "It's a really exciting time. We're looking forward to seeing it develop and we're glad today is finally here."
Lincolnshire-based Havercroft Construction is building the store, which should be finished within about a year. The temporary supermarket will continue to operate until the new store opens.
Sandra Taylor-Meeds, the supermarket's general manager, said: "It's been our dream over the last 18 months to get things up and running."
Mrs Taylor-Meeds has worked for CT Baker for 47 years, having started as a shop assistant at a wine merchant in Cromer.
The Holt store was built in 1984 and Mrs Taylor-Meeds was transferred over. She worked as manager of the wine department before working her way up to general manager.
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"We're looking forward to getting into the new store. A lot of our customers carried on supporting us. They've been amazing," she said.
Ms Taylor-Meeds said that the night of the fire, which she witnessed herself, was "absolutely devastating".
"It was just like a film," she said. "You never expected anything like that to happen."
Firefighters worked through the fight to stop the flames spreading to neighbouring buildings, and although no-one was injured in the blaze, little was able to be salvaged from the remains of the supermarket.
It had been hoped the new store could be open by Christmas but there were some delays in planning.
The shop will be 13,000 sq ft store with some self-service tills and there will be electric charging points in the car park.
The town's post office will also move into the new store.