A Budgens outlet has opened in Offord

The new Budgens store in Offord.The new Budgens store in Offord.

A new village store has opened in Offord - bucking the trend which has seen more and more communities lose key assets.

The Budgens outlet has been two years in the making for the firm of E A Gill and replaces the tiny shop on the forecourt at A1 Autocare.

Richard Gill, from the firm, said: "We are gradually getting there now and it has been a lot of hard work - but now it is open and up and running.

"For the last year people from the village have been saying 'How long, how long'."

Mr Gill, who grew up in Offord, said it must have been 10 years ago since the traditional village shop closed on Offord D'Arcy High Street and that the new one would meet demand from surrounding villages as well as Offord.

"I started thinking about it two years ago and realised that it would have to be 1,800 to 2,000 sq ft to make it big enough to be viable," he said.

Mr Gill said he sought advice from his counterpart at the Budgens branch in Kimbolton and that the new store stocked a wide enough range so that shoppers need not go anywhere else.

He said the shop had created jobs for 15 people working various shifts.