New Wolverhampton railway station food store opens with phone charging points

A new food store has opened its doors at the revamped Wolverhampton Railway Station.

 Central England Co-op store manager Carl Smitheman and his colleagues joined by young athletes from Wolverhampton and Bilston AC Club to cut the ribbon
Central England Co-op store manager Carl Smitheman and his colleagues joined by young athletes from Wolverhampton and Bilston AC Club to cut the ribbon

Central England Co-op has created 20 new jobs with the investment.

The launch coincided with the beginning of the Commonwealth Games and staff were joined by young athletes from Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club to help cut the ribbon on the store and celebrate the festival of sport taking place across the West Midlands.

Shoppers and commuters were treated to entertainment by performers from Wolverhampton Grand Theatre’s Memory Cafe.

The cafe supports people living with dementia and their family and carers, a cause close to Central England Co-op’s heart as it has raised over £1.7 million for Dementia UK over recent years.

A food bank collection point has also been installed to support the great work of The Well (Wolverhampton Food Bank) as it continues to manage the increased demand caused by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

To mark the launch, the store made a special donation of food and essentials to the food bank.

The new shop has self-service checkouts for those looking to make a quick purchase and a charging bar where people can charge their mobile phones

Store manager Carl Smitheman said: “It’s great to have finally opened our doors and welcome our new customers and members to see our fantastic new store and see what we have on offer.

“All of us here are proud to be part of such a great community in Wolverhampton and are excited that the Commonwealth Games is underway with lots of events taking place in the area and many fans and athletes coming through the station across the next fortnight.

“Therefore, it was fantastic to welcome athletes from Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club to join us on our opening day and help us cut the ribbon and promote getting active and getting involved in sport.

“We had a great atmosphere on the day with the excitement of the launch and it was wonderful to have performers from Wolverhampton Grand Theatre’s Memory Cafe come and perform. I was also happy to begin our relationship with The Well Wolverhampton and support their vital work.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank locals and commuters for their patience as work on the store has progressed. It’s been long-awaited, but hopefully everyone will enjoy the store as much as we do.”

Wolverhampton is playing a central role in the Commonwealth Games as it hosts the Cycling Time Trial event in West Park, while it’s already been a great summer for athletics in the city with home town hero Matthew Hudson-Smith taking bronze at the recent World Athletics Championships.

Mary Harding, President of Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club, which has been based at Aldersley Leisure Village for the past 55 years, said it was an exciting time for sport and athletics in particular in the city and for the club which boasts a proud history.

She said: “Wolverhampton and Bilston AC’s members have competed at the highest level – we have seen Olympic medallists, World Championships, European and Commonwealth Games representatives, and national and regional champions who have all started their journey at club level.

“The club has worked hard and been rewarded with the Queens Award for Volunteering, an award equivalent to an MBE at club level. This is a huge honour for the club, and everyone involved.

“On behalf of Wolverhampton and Bilston AC we are very proud to be invited to the new store launch in Wolverhampton and we hope to forge a link with Central England Co-op going forward.”

The railway station Co-operative food store is now open from 6am to10pm, Monday to Sunday.

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