Central England Co-operartive has installed 90 defibrillators in the heart of the local community, with hundreds more planned for later this year.

The lifesaving pieces of equipment have been installed at locations across the Society’s entire trading area from food stores to funeral homes and petrol forecourts. It is the first stage of a rollout that will eventually see the devices put in place at nearly all outlets across 16 counties. Out of the 90 total installations, 55 are at retail sites.

Hannah Gallimore, corporate responsibility manager, said: “We are so pleased to have installed 90 lifesaving defibrillators at locations across our Society. We have been able to use the money generated from the carrier bag levy to put in place devices that could save lives right in the centre of our communities for their use.

“If the defibrillator is ever needed, anyone can call 999 and the emergency operator will pass on a code that will open the locked case that the equipment is stored in. The device will then talk the person through how to use it. It is easy to use and any member of the community would be able to do so if needed.”

Central England Co-operative has agreed further funding for the phased installation of hundreds more defibrillators, which will be installed by long-term partner Oak Electrical.

Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative chief executive, said: “Sudden Cardiac Arrest is one of the UK’s biggest killers and, after listening to the concerns of customers, members and partners, we want to help tackle the issue by getting more life-saving equipment into communities where it can save lives.

“As a responsible business we place a huge focus on making a positive contribution to the communities in which we trade; we are delighted to be able to build on our existing work with this new project which we are funding from the carrier bag levy.”

Trading areas to have devices installed include 14 in Derbyshire, 17 in Birmingham, seven in East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire and 16 in Northamptonshire.