THE Co-op on Wickford High Street will officially close its doors on Saturday, paving the way for the shop to be demolished and a Morrisons to be built in its place.

Councillors have confirmed that the shop will close this weekend, with Co-op then given a week to clear the site and move out.

It comes as Morrisons submitted official plans for the development of a new store, with bosses previously citing June 2023 as a proposed opening date.

At least 50 jobs are being created at the new store, but it is unclear how many will be lost by Co-op’s closure.

Councillors and residents are pleased but concerns have been raised that shoppers will be without a high street supermarket while the development takes place.

Eunice Brockman, Wickford Independents councillor for Wickford North, said: “It’s shutting this Saturday, and they’ve been told they have got to be out by the following Saturday.

“I think it will be a positive step for Wickford and I think it will be great once it’s all done. I think it will be great and this part of the town really does need some big investment like this.

“I think shoppers and residents will welcome it.

I do feel sorry for the Co-op staff but I really hope that when the new store opens they can apply for the jobs.”

The plans say there will be 225 parking spaces and a new cafe will open adjacent to the entrance.

Graham Bradley, 46, from Wickford, added: “I think it’s positive to see the plans coming through and it looks good. It will be sad to see the Co-op closing as the team does a lot for the community.

“I also think the sooner it opens the better as we will only have Iceland and Aldi, it is a bit of a concern that it’s shut before the new one is open. I am hopeful that it opens soon as residents and shoppers will lose out.

“It may be difficult for those who don’t drive and and need to get their shopping.”