AN update has been issued over plans for a new Tesco store in Stroud. 

The supermarket giant recently exchanged contracts to open in the former Halfords unit, according to Dransfield Properties, which manages the Five Valleys Shopping Centre.

Fit-out work is now expected to begin on Saturday, November 11, with the Tesco Express store estimated to open early next year.  

The retailer has now released a statement following the announcement. 

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We’re excited to confirm that a new Tesco Express store in Stroud will open in the coming months. 

“We will keep the local community updated with our plans as they progress and we look forward to serving them soon.”

It is believed 20 new jobs will be created in the store, with the retailer investing £1 million into the unit.

It would join other Tesco stores in the area including the Stroud Superstore on Stratford Road plus Cam Superstore as well as express stores in Paganhill, Nailsworth and Chalford.

Tony Davey, chair of the Stroud Chamber of Trade & Commerce, said he believes that the fact the large 5,249 sq ft unit is being utilised is positive news for the town. 

“A few weeks ago, whilst I was carrying out some analysis of Stroud town against others, a lack of convenience store of this size and longer opening hours was a highlighted imbalance in our regeneration plans,” he said. 

“When compared to Dursley, Nailsworth and Wotton, all have a better in-town balance, including the latter two having Tesco Express stores in close proximity to a Co-op store.

“Whilst the location may not significantly increase footfall in the main part town, the potential benefits to those arriving and leaving by bus are quite clear-cut. 

Stroud News and Journal: The new Tesco Express store is due to open early next year in the former Halfords unit The new Tesco Express store is due to open early next year in the former Halfords unit (Image: Dransfield)

READ MORE: Major retailer to open in Stroud's former Halfords store

“Tesco generally don’t take large risks on opening locations, so the fact they see opportunities within the town is likely a positive sign. 

“We are seeing more planning applications to turn underutilised space above shops into residences, so these residences need services in our towns too. 

“Further, when managed well, more people in our towns will bolster our evening and night time economy. 

“A minority are finding it fashionable to run down the town on social media at the moment, and outrage at any opening not being the exact one an audience desires is inevitable, but that this unit is being utilised is positive news. 

“Whilst other Tesco stores may be within just a few minutes drive, those who do not drive everywhere may see significant benefit. 

“Further, we may see an increase in visitors to the town rather than away from it, if gaps in their needs are fulfilled by this store.

“I am concerned about traffic management in this area, as turning right off and onto Merrywalks is already a problem, but hopefully the County Council will step up to address this in a positive way that benefits the communities.”

Dransfield has previously stated that Tesco has 'committed to the town for 15 years'.

The new supermarket will also provide free parking for up to 16 cars outside the store.

James Shepherd, managing director of Dransfield Properties, previously said: “We are delighted to be working with Tesco to bring a convenient food offer to our local community, along with creating a number of new jobs for the area.”