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Work has started today (Monday 21 August) on a multi-million-pound makeover at the Co-op’s Macaulay Road superstore in Stornoway.

Shopfitters from Weatherhead Shop Designers were on site last week getting scaffolding in place and beginning preparation work for the huge project, which is expected to be completed in November.

There’ll be some disruption for shoppers while the works are under way, with the store remaining open while the rolling programme of works reorganises the internal layout, transforming the whole retail area.

The delicatessen counter closes permanently on 1 September, but will be replaced by a hot food counter.

The travel office moves to the back of the store and home delivery services will be positioned next to the coffee shop, where the travel desk currently is.

There’s to be an extension to the coffee shop, with more seating thanks to a more streamlined servery design.

And staff facilities are among the first receiving the refit treatment, with fitters already working on the upstairs spaces including staff rest room and toilets.

The 22,000 square-foot store is the largest in the Co-op’s estate and supports more than 100 local jobs. It was built in the mid 1990s on a former playing field at a cost of around £5 million.

In 2019 a new Co-op convenience store was opened on Cromwell Street in the town, after an internal set-up costing £735,000.

The full plans for Macaulay Road are intended to ensure it still continues to operate as a community hub, with added services including its partnership with The Original Factory Shop, launderette and online groceries delivered by a fleet of five home delivery vehicles, covering around 100 square miles.

Kate Graham of the Co-op operations department, said: “We are committed to serving our Stornoway community, and our store is dedicated to playing an active role in local life.”

The pictures show Weatherhead’s shopfitting equipment and project management spaces set up in the Co-op car park (Robert Sinclair).