A NEW food store looks set to open as planned in Basingstoke this May, as the shop sign was being installed today.

As previously reported in the Gazette, The Food Warehouse has been given the go-ahead by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to vary the conditions of Unit 4 at St Michael's Retail Park to "fulfil their longstanding requirement to open and operate a food store in Basingstoke"

The shop, which is set to create between 20 and 25 new jobs, would be the first of its kind in the town.

The company, which is part of Iceland, previously told the Gazette the new store was provisionally scheduled to open in early May, and, judging from the work being carried out today, it looks like it could still be on track for opening next month.

The store offers a warehouse style format, designed to be larger than the company's high street Iceland shops, offering a much wider range of goods such as frozen, chilled and grocery products.

Each store also has a range of bulk buy and non-food lines.

The store set for the retail park in The Harrow Way will have a warehouse type look with wide shopping aisles, polished concrete floors and no ceilings.

A 149 square metre mezzanine floor will be installed to be used for storage.

Currently, the nearest store to Basingstoke is 15 miles away in the Reading Link Retail Park.

The shop will open between 8am and 9pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 5pm on Sunday, with extended opening hours during November and December to 11pm Monday to Friday to "meet their seasonal trading requirements".