OLYMPIC Games silver medallist Gemma Gibbons will open Haddington’s new Aldi store at the end of the month.

The new shop, at Haddington Retail Park, will replace the existing store off Whittingehame Drive.

Opening on Thursday, September 30, at 8am, the new store will be managed by Darren Ross, who will welcome the judoka to the store to cut the all-important ribbon on the opening morning.

He said: “We can’t wait to open the doors to the new store in Haddington.

“It’s set to be a special day as we’ll be celebrating the opening of Aldi’s new store in the area – and having Olympic hero Gemma Gibbons join us will make it a morning to remember.”

Gemma took silver in the -78 kilogrammes category at the London Olympic Games in 2012 and matched that performance with silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years later.

In 2013, she married fellow judoka and ex-Pencaitland Primary School pupil Euan Burton.

Gemma added: “I’m so excited to be opening Aldi’s new store, it will be great to chat to customers and a lovely way for me to thank Aldi for its support of Team GB.”

Twenty-two members of staff will be employed at the new store, including four new jobs.

Aldi had been based off Whittingehame Drive for nearly 15 years. However, it was announced in January last year that it would be moving to the new retail park, at Gateside on the town’s western edge, alongside Home Bargains, Costa Coffee and The Food Warehouse.

The decision received a mixed reaction from Haddington residents, with many customers living in the Nungate area unhappy.

Only one unit remains unoccupied at the retail park.

Costa Coffee opened in July, with The Food Warehouse following last month and Home Bargains set to open on October 16.

Karla Green, chairwoman of Haddington Business Community Partnership (HBCP), felt the Aldi store would be “a huge miss” from the eastern side of the town.

However, she was unsure what the impact of the retail park had been on the town centre in its first few weeks of opening.

She said: “I think it is quite a difficult one to answer; it’s far too soon.

“I think there was going to be an initial rush up there, with people wanting to have a look and see what is going on.

“The next couple of months will tell.”

The new Aldi store is calling on local charities and foodbanks in Haddington to register with Neighbourly, a community engagement platform that links businesses to charitable organisations in the local community.

Local charities that register will be able to collect surplus food and perishable products such as fruit, vegetables and baked goods.

Any charities that would like to partner with the new Aldi store should email aldi@neighbourly.com

A planning application to divide the current Aldi site into three units for storage and distribution with ancillary trade counters is being considered by East Lothian Council’s planning department.

A decision on Ediston Haddington Ltd’s proposals is due by Monday.