A SECOND Lidl store in Christchurch is now just a matter of months away from opening, the supermarket has confirmed.

Work has been ongoing since August of last year on the unit at Christchurch Retail Park.

The discount chain is taking space which had previously been used by Homebase after the retailer scaled down its operation on the site off Barrack Road.

Providing an update on the new store, Lidl said fit out works have now begun.

The remaining work is due to be carried out by construction firm Wright Morgan.

This phase of the project is expected to take three months and the company is hoping to have the store open in late summer.

Lidl GB’s Regional Head of Property, James Mitchell, said: “There’s been much anticipation for this new Lidl store and it’s great that we are now in a position to start the fit out works. We are extremely grateful for all the support that we have received so far and would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding whilst we enter this next phase of the development.”

As reported, the new supermarket will create around 40 jobs once open.

The store will have a sales area of 1,103 square metres and feature facilities including an in-store bakery, customer toilets and parking for both cars and bicycles at the retail park.

Lidl already has a store in Christchurch, with an established operation in Somerford Road just more than two miles away from the new premises.

No objections were raised by residents, Christchurch Town Council and BCP Council’s various departments prior to the unitary authority’s planning department approving the reconfiguration of the single Homebase unit to house two smaller stores.

The new Lidl supermarket forms part of the company’s ongoing £1.3bn investment across the country in 2021 and 2022.

The chain still has ambitions to open a store in Lymington, Swanage and Wimborne, while work has started on a new shop in Shaftesbury.