Guest post from Andy Hills (Twitter @Hillsy101)
In two surprising moves, Tesco, the new supermarket on the block, has already contributed to residents and the community of Knaphill.
A £500 donation has been organised for the Cabin youth club and the resurfacing of Fosters Lane has been paid for by the supermarket.
This is in stark contrast to both existing supermarkets in the village and to the developers now finishing off the building at 15 High Street. Co-op has been fairly innocuous in it’s business neither positively nor negatively affecting village life, whereas Sainsbury has a fairly long history with bullying the village and getting exactly what it wants.
Could this mean that Tesco, far from being the final nail in the High Street that I expected, is in fact, a positive contributor? Please don’t get me wrong – I would have desperately preferred an independent retailer in the High Street, as I’m sure many existing retailers and residents would have, but in a mere few days Tesco has shown it is willing to support community interests whereas the others have spent years ignoring them.
Perhaps the other supermarkets could learn that supporting the community even in small ways, can help build relations. Some may refer to the new Knaphill village signs – ostensibly paid for by Sainsbury’s – but it took years and years to achieve those after long discussions and dealings. They are nice (thank you Mal, Melanie) but I can’t help feeling Sainsbury’s
Brookwood Knaphill resisted when such a small expenditure would have gone a long way to build goodwill early on.
Of course, this early investment in the community from Tesco may well be it, time will tell, but I’m glad for the time being that Tesco is not being the monster it easily could have been and I genuinely appreciate the gesture from them. I am also exceptionally cautious regarding the deliveries to the store, with chaos already having been caused in the village before the store has even opened. Must write the thank you letter to WBC and Surrey Highways for the genius decisions made in this development…
Tesco opens 11th February.