THE LONG-awaited Waitrose store in Wichelstowe is finally set to open its doors to shoppers on April 10.

The new store in Mill Lane, which is being built on the 3.5-hectare site that will become Middle Wichel, is set to welcome customers to a new range of top-quality foods from the up-market brand.

Shoppers will be able to browse specialised meat, fish and cheese counters, select baked goods from the in-store bakery, choose select wines from the dedicated department and finish their shopping with a brew from the in-house cafe.

Customers will also be able to make use of the Waitrose Delivery Service to have their purchases delivered straight to their kitchen cupboards.

Swindon store manager, Ian Smith, said: “Work is now well underway on the new store, and we are very happy to announce an opening date. We can’t wait to open our doors in April and look forward to becoming part of the local community.”

In January the supermarket announced a record number of applications for jobs at the store, with more than 700 people applying for roles at the supermarket.

Waitrose closed the application window after only three weeks when 724 people applied for only 150 jobs.

Applicants included local unemployed people and candidates put forward by Jobcentre Plus and council initiative resources.

As Partners in the John Lewis Partnership, all employees will be entitled to exclusive benefits, including shopping and leisure discounts, leisure and learning subsidies and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus.

Coun Brian Ford (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe) said: “I think it will be an asset to the town and to the village and despite the problems we have had regarding the road system.

“I think it will be an asset and I hope it does not cause any further disruption along the roads and does not diminish from the shops which are already here in the village. I do believe it will be an asset and I know it is something that the villagers have been looking forward to for a long time.”

Construction of the new store caused havoc last year when Mill Lane and Foxham Way were closed without warning to allow building to take place.

The roads are now expected to be closed until the end of this month.