A major supermarket chain has issued an update following a two-year delay in opening a new store in a derelict pub in Berkeley.

Midcounties Co-Operative first applied to Stroud District Council in July 2020 to convert the grade II listed pub Mariners Arms into a convenience store with an apartment above. 

The new larger Co-op store would allow the retailer to expand and move out of its current smaller shop in Salter Street. 

It later received planning permission in January 2021 but construction has been delayed. 

Now, the supermarket chain has finally revealed that it intends to begin work later this summer and hopes to eventually open the bigger shop next year.

A Midcounties Co-op spokesperson said: “We’re happy to announce that development on our new Berkeley store is set to begin this summer, with the aim to open our doors and welcome customers in 2024.

“Investing in the local area, bringing more jobs and serving the community are at the heart of everything we do. 

“We look forward to being able to continue to deliver great member benefits and offer a valued service, all whilst supporting local causes and contributing to the local economy.”

Gazette Series: First look at the new Co-op - proposed site plan by Midcounties Co-OperativeFirst look at the new Co-op - proposed site plan by Midcounties Co-Operative (Image: Midcounties Co-Operative)

A new planning application has also been submitted with planners hoping to extend their application. 

A council document reads: “Our client is keen to progress these works but the new listed building consent expires soon. 

“It was felt that the best solution would be to submit a LBC application where we can extend the time period to tie in with the planning permission and allow works to commence after August 2023 and before January 18, 2024.”

According to planning documents, the public house has been vacant since August 2015, and was struck by fire in April 2019.

In council documents, the old public house is set to be transformed with the old bar and window seats becoming the new store's staff areas, bakery and storage areas.

Meanwhile, the pub’s old skittle alley, toilets, kitchen, and beer store would become the shop floor.

The store is expected to bring four full-time jobs and six part-time jobs to the area and would be open daily from 7am to 10pm

In addition, plans show that the store would have 12 customer parking spaces, as well as two further parking spaces for disabled customers.