The Staney Hill community is to have its own shop again after a local business couple decided to reopen the old shop as a convenience store. The lease is to be taken on shortly by Najma and Asghar Ali, who already run the popular World Tastes shop opposite Viking Bus Station.
The couple plan to offer a range of food, newspapers and ice cream along with a selection of products from around the world and seasonal fresh produce direct from other countries.
Mrs Ali said yesterday they did not have a date for opening yet. They want to make the shop convenient for the community, particularly for the old and young who perhaps do not have easy access to the supermarkets.
There was anger in the community last year when plans were lodged to convert the shop into offices, prompting a 250- signature petition to try to stop it. The shop went out of business in 2007 but Mrs Ali hopes there will be enough custom to make it work. She said: “The community is being really supportive. They’ve been desperate for a while to get it reopened.”
The shop first started in 1978 when housing estates were being built on Staney Hill. It was owned by the SIC until sold to its tenant in 2003.