Hills staff had trouble keeping their excited new customers at bay before the grand opening of their Spar store, with the community coming out in full force to welcome Workington’s newest arrival.

The team were met with praise and smiles when the Harrington Road Spar officially opened at 11am on Wednesday.

Being the first Hills convenience store, staff were looking forward to the new venture and shared free cake and sandwich samples with customers, as well as special vouchers to show their appreciation for the community’s support.

Manager Harvey Hoggarth and assistant manager David Stewart, along with the rest of the Hills team, were thrilled to finally be opening their doors after months of hard work.

David said: “It’s been non-stop, especially over the last couple of weeks. The store looks brilliant though, so it’s worth it.”

“The locals couldn’t wait for us to open, so we’re glad we can finally let them in!” he added.

All generations of Hills attended the opening, and the youngest Hills, six-year-old Freya-Manda, graciously volunteered to cut the ribbon and declare their Spar store officially open.

Hills director Michael Gatty was also happy to attend, and said: “It’s a local store for local people to pop in and get what they need quickly and easily.

“The car park has plenty of space, so it’s convenient for everyone in the area, and it’s such a super store that’s been finished to a really good standard, so we’re all pleased and excited.”

The new Spar store’s neighbour, Joan Woodend, has lived across the road from the shop’s plot since 1970, and is delighted to have such a handy shop just a few steps away from her home.

“I’ve watched it as it was all being developed and built, and I’ve loved it,” she said. “It’s such a lovely shop – it’s something nice to look at and it’s perfect for if I need to go out for milk or bread.”

And plenty more customers were impressed by the store, which was built by Maryport’s Ashcroft Ltd, including Jenna Rice, who attended the opening with her children Aftile, 11, Darcy, 13, Woody, eight, and five-year-old Prudence.

The youngsters enjoyed tucking into the free samples of rocky road, brownies and flapjacks, and Jenna said: “We live on Harrington Road, so it’s such a handy shop for us. I’m always running out of things, so it’s perfect!”