THE manager of a new Co-op store said he is 'breathing a sigh of relief' after the supermarket opened its doors following months of delays.

The store at the former Paragon Laundry site in Bridgwater officially opened on Thursday (March 8) to the delight of residents.

The Paragon Laundry was once a thriving business but it was destroyed in a huge fire in 2009.

After remaining empty for a number of years, the site is now home to a new Co-operative store as well as a Papa John’s pizzas on the ground floor, with 14 flats as well as 22 residential units and a car park.

Mick Foggarty, manager of the new store on Taunton Road said the store's opening was delayed for nearly four months due to planning issues and he is 'relieved' it is now open.

"It has been a frustrating journey to get the store open, a lot of work has been done but now that we are open I am really happy," Mick said.

"The store was due to open in November last year but we had a number of issues with planning documents and as a result the store opening was delayed.

"We have had a great response from customers who have come into the store, it is only a small convenience store but we have a great selection of food and a lovely, fresh clean, new store which customers can enjoy."

Mick said the store has created 14 jobs in the local community and is hopeful the store will have a bright future.

"When the store opened I breathed a sigh of relief, it has been a long road getting here," Mick said.

"We have had so many obstructions in our way, lots of planning documents weren't sent correctly which was stressful for us but I am so happy we are now open.

"I think a lot of our customers will come from off Taunton Road, people regularly use this road for long journey's and I think our food-to-go section will be extremely popular but I think it will be well used by members of the community too.

"We are looking forward to serving residents and the community."