WORK is well under way on a £1m redevelopment project to more than double the size of the Spar shop in Tidworth.

The project is a co-investment between the Connolly family, who own the store in Pennings Road, and Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for Spar stores in the south west.

It is due for completion in March 2017. Work started in August and the 30-week development will see the store expand to more than 2,100 sq ft.

Store owner Andrew Connolly said: “This is an ambitious and substantial capital investment for our business and we are excited that we will be creating a convenience shopping offer second to none for our expanding local community.

“We undertook the development because the Army is re-basing here with the withdrawal of troops from Germany, and there are currently over 1,000 additional houses being built in Tidworth.”

The construction project is being carried out by Mark Smith Contractors from Ludgershall.

“Like us, Mark only employs local people, so this is a great example of local companies working in collaboration to bring employment and benefit to our community,” said Andrew.

The Connolly family operate four Spar stores in Wiltshire employing 35 people. They moved from Londis to Spar eight years ago, carrying out a sequence of refurbishment schemes to their Pennings Road and Beech Hill Road stores in Tidworth and Andover Road in Ludgershall. Five years ago, they expanded the business by acquiring a store in North Street, Pewsey.

“The move to Spar was unquestionably the right thing to do and we simply haven’t looked back since doing so,” said Andrew.

“We are very confident about the future for our new Pennings Road development, particularly as convenience retailing is forecast to continue to grow over the next few years.”