Chippham's newest store, B&M was opened by the town’s deputy mayor this morning.

The 12,500sq ft unit on Bumpers Way next to Pets at Home had been empty for over a year after electrical chain Comet closed down.

Chippenham town councillor John Scragg, who cut the ribbon, said: “It’s bringing employment to the town and helping it to compete with other towns like Melksham.

“Some people say it will affect the town centre; it may have some effect but, it’s better here than in another town and you can’t just have it lying empty, it’s got to be put to some use.”

Today, customers were greeted with smiles and sweets as the doors opened at 9am.

They were then able to see the spacious trademark blue and orange store stocked with discount groceries, toiletries, toys, soft furnishings and home and gardening ranges.

Interim store manager Mike Hedley said: “There’s been a real buzz as we’ve been getting the store ready this week; I think all of our staff are proud to be part of the team.”

Also present for the opening was the Rise Trust, a charity managing three children’s centres in Chippenham, to whom B&M donated £250 worth of vouchers for new toys.

Julie Swales, assistant manager of the trust, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. We will identify something in store our families might need; it is all for the good of the community.”

Sixty mostly part-time people have been employed, 20 fewer than B&M anticipated last month.

These were whittled down from 300 people who made it through to the interview stage.