(Caption L-R) Kim Fellows watches on as Proprietor Judy Fellows and Minister Guy Barnett turn the sod for a $5 million supermarket development in Westbury.

Residents of Westbury will soon be able to enjoy the convenience of a locally owned, full service supermarket after the sod was turned on a $5 million retail development in the town’s centre.

The 1600m 2 building is expected to be completed by July 2019 and will be located at 39-45 Meander Valley Road.

The new supermarket will be owned and operated by Judy Fellows, who has helped Westbury locals fill their pantries for around 30 years at the William Street IGA.

Ms Fellows, a Westbury local for 60 years, said the new development would allow the residents of Westbury to access a full line of products without having to travel out of town and would also create local employment in the area.

“There’s simply not enough room at the current William Street store to hold all of the product our customers are after and while we try to get in what we can, we sometimes have to suggest a trip out of town to visit a larger IGA supermarket,” Ms Fellows said.

“By having a larger product offering we hope to make it easier for the people of Westbury to live their day-to-day lives in the town and we also hope it will bring more people in from surrounding towns to come and do their shopping here.

“This project has been in the pipeline for some time now, we are proud to be able to use local contractors for construction of the site and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to Westbury.”

Tasmanian Independent Retailers CEO Grant Hinchcliffe said the development would be a win for Westbury, with the nine-month construction phase set to create employment for up to 20 to 30 local tradespeople.

“Local business is the lifeblood of the community and keeping local business in smaller towns helps our wonderful country communities stay strong,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.

“This investment shows a real commitment to Westbury and will help the close-knit community by creating local jobs and through making it easier for the people in the area to access the services and products they need, when they need.

“There will also be numerous flow-on benefits for other businesses in the area as local contractors will be used during construction and more people will be inclined to carry out their shopping in the town centre after the supermarket opens.”

The development will include a 99kw solar panel, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the new supermarket.

Minister for Energy Guy Barnett welcomed the new investment in Westbury and applauded the inclusion of the solar panel in the supermarket design.

“Investment of this type is a sign of confidence in the Meander Valley and will help bring jobs and new opportunity to the region,” Mr Barnett said.

“It’s also wonderful to see the commitment to renewable energy in this development.”

“The Hodgman Liberal Government’s Tasmania-First Energy policy has an ambitious target of Tasmania becoming fully self-sufficient with renewable energy by 2022 and any private contribution towards this objective is most welcome.”