The new 33,000 sq ft supermarket, in Oakham, Rutland, cost £4.5m to redevelop and its eco-features include natural ventilation instead of air conditioning, solar panels, a bio-diversity roof planted with local species, green refrigeration using eco-friendly gases and energy-efficient display cabinets. Rainwater is also harvested to reduce the amount of treated water used and hot water is heated using solar energy.
Midlands Co-op had been trading from a temporary store since the fire in July 2008, which razed the original store to the ground. The fire was caused by a suspected arson attack after a gang attempted to remove an ATM from the outside wall.
"The loss of the store was a great blow, but it now gives us the opportunity to provide our customers with a modern store while reducing the environmental impact of the building," said Midlands Co-op food operations manager Pete Whitmore. "Our new store, as well as being highly efficient and environmentally friendly, meets all our customer needs and the requirements of an advanced retail operation."
The shop has an in-store bakery, an espresso bar serving hot and cold drinks and snacks and a Midlands Co-op Travel concession.
"It's hard to believe it's been 15 months since the fire destroyed our old store," said store manager David Brown.