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New Lidl opens in Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 09:50 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 15 March 2018

The new branch of Lidl opens in Hornchurch on the former site of the Mecca Bingo

The new branch of Lidl opens in Hornchurch on the former site of the Mecca Bingo

Archant

The brand new Lidl store in Hornchurch has finally opened.

The new branch of Lidl opens in Hornchurch on the former site of the Mecca BingoThe new branch of Lidl opens in Hornchurch on the former site of the Mecca Bingo

The long awaited store in High Street has been built on the former site of the Mecca Bingo hall and the Towers Cinema building, and was at first met by residents protests when the German company revealed it was going to knock down the art-deco frontage.

The Towers cinema opened in 1935 and was taken over by Odeon eight years later. It carried on running as a cinema until 1973, when it was converted into a bingo hall, and in 2010, it was bought by Mecca.

Plans to build a supermarket were first submitted in September 2016, and it wasn’t until March last year that Lidl was given permission to start to build the 1,690 metre square store with 104 parking spaces.

The store opening suffered more setbacks just under a month ago, as it was set to open but then an electricity cable was discovered under the site - which set back the site opening date till March.

The Mayor of Havering, councillor Linda Van den Hende cut the ribbon to announce the official opening of the store this morning (Thursday, March 15) and customers were given the chance to sample products.

The new supermarket has created 40 new jobs, and features facilities such as an in-store bakery, longer-style tills with dual packing, customer toilets, baby changing and parking for both cars and bicycles.

Lidl UK’s regional head of property, Olu Johnson said: “We would like to thank all those who have played a part in bringing this new Lidl store to Hornchurch. It is great for us to be able to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area, and we can’t wait to start serving our award winning products to the community.”

The Recorder spoke to the first customer through the tills - Jean-Michel Tchamba and his son Elisha, who live in Hornchurch - and croissants and orange juice were on his shopping list.

Jean said: “We saw that the store had just opened and thought we would pop in to get some breakfast.”

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