CHARD has a brand new supermarket after discount store Lidl opened its latest branch in the town.

More than 40 people braved the cold and queued up to watch the supermarket, in Tapstone Road, open its doors at 8am on today (November 21) replacing its existing store on Boden Street.

Students from Redstart Primary School in Chard did the honours and cut the ribbon to open the store alongside Lidl's regional head of property, Matthias Daly.

The new supermarket forms part of the company’s ongoing expansion and regeneration plans in the UK which will see it open up to 50 new stores a year.

The sales area of the supermarket has increased in size to 1,325m² and facilities including a bakery, customer toilets, baby changing and ample parking for both cars and bicycles.

Up to 20 new jobs have also been created for the local community.

Speaking at the launch, Matthias said: "It is sensational and we are very happy that we can offer an improved store and improved facilities to our customers.

"We have a bigger car park, a bigger sales area, new machines at the checkout and the store is in a much more convenient location for customers than the Boden Street store.

Customers who were invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8am were offered the chance to sample some of Lidl’s award winning products throughout the day including freshly baked pastries.

Mr Daly added: "The construction took around ten months and so far we have had nothing but positive feedback from customers.

"We are looking forward to serving the people of Chard.

"Everyone is really happy to have a new supermarket which has easy access to the A30 as it is more convenient for customers.

"And we also have an electric car charging station which is the first one of its kind in Chard."

The Boden Street store officially ceased trading last night (November 20) and the old car park has been shut to the public too.

Speaking at the launch, Cllr Dave Bulmer said: "I feel very positive about the new Lidl store.

"It brings a shopping opportunity for the people of Chard. I am encouraged by the number of people who have been waiting outside for the store to open."

Cllr Bulmer is a district councillor, and was the mayor when the Lidl plans were submitted.

He added: "Now it is open, I hope the residents of Chard actually welcome the new site and the opportunity it gives them to have a wide choice of products within the town.

"What has always been my foremost concern at the planning stage was keeping Lidl in this town.

"It has been an excellent thing where Lidl is at Tapstone Road now, as not only does it allow them a bigger, better site, but for Brecknell Willis whose old buildings were demolished, it will benefit that actual business too."