The Co-op to unveil Yorkshire expansion plans

The Co-op is planning to invest more than £14m in new stores and funeral homes in 2019, with a commitment to invest more next year than the £13.5m it spent in 2018.

Co-op workers at the new store in Barnsley

The firm said it invested £700,000 in Yorkshire in 2018. The society opened a new food store in Keresforth Hill Road, Barnsley, and revamped its petrol station in Shepley, spending nearly £700,000. The new store in Barnsley created a total of 18 new jobs.

In 2019, the society is planning further expansion across Yorkshire, with full details set to be revealed in January.

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Nationally, the group opened 10 new food stores and six new funeral homes this year, as well as relaunching 22 funeral sites and 30 convenience stores.

The society said it has created dozens of jobs as part of ongoing efforts to improve the experience of customers during 2018.

Keresforth Hill Road Central England Co-operative store manager Peter Sayers said: “All of us here at Central England Co-operative Food Stores across our trading area are proud to be part of such great communities and are looking forward to welcoming all customers, old and new, to come and enjoy our new and revamped food stores.”

Funeral director Andy Eeley said: “Our first priority is to enhance memories and love for all of our families and we are very pleased to offer that at all of our funeral homes.

“We feel they reflect our commitment to providing excellent standards of care for our families during their time of bereavement.”

The development programme has seen individual areas such as Derbyshire receive over £4m, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham and the West Midlands receive over £1m each and £700,000 spent in Yorkshire.

The society said members and customers have been flocking to the new food stores and funeral homes to take a closer look at the new fixtures and fittings including the latest in pioneering new energy efficient refrigeration technologies to minimise environmental impact and LED lighting.

Customers who visited a new store on launch day took part in a special Golden Ticket Giveaway, which saw hundreds of people walk away with prizes ranging from 50” televisions to Co-op vouchers.

The Co-op said new customers and members will also be able to enjoy a range of community benefits as a result of the society’s investment.

Last year, thousands of pounds were handed out to groups in the city from Central England Co-operative’s Community Dividend Fund. A total of 152 groups shared over £187,000 during 2018.

The fund guarantees that at least one per cent of the society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities in a bid to help projects to thrive across its trading area.

Co-op members are offered a range of benefits from collecting points every time they spend in store, earning a share of the profits and access to member activities.