East Anglia retailer Jonathan James is set to lease his Budgens store in Soham to Asda.

The opening date is yet to be announced but all employees at the 7,000sq ft James Graven Budgens store will keep their jobs at the new Asda store.

Jonathan said local people wanted a supermarket in the town centre, “in line with local and national policy and the Soham Masterplan”.

Last year Jonathan unsuccessfully campaigned against plans for a supermarket on the edge of Soham, which he claims will draw footfall away from the town centre. An operator for the site has still not been announced.

“I have always been consistent in my view that a supermarket should be located in the centre of town to boost footfall, and my store is perfect for it,” he said.

“Most importantly though, there will be no loss of jobs with all of our store team transferring to Asda.”

Asda’s senior property communications manager, Philip Bartram, said: “We are delighted to be on the verge of coming to Soham, with the potential to bring the renowned Asda offer to the town’s shoppers while securing and creating local jobs.”

Jonathan said he now had his eye on a couple of forecourt stores in the region, while work on his £3m eco business park in Littleport is set to begin in the next few months.

He also owns a Budgens store in Dersingham, Norfolk, which he said would be Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s local store when they moved into the Sandringham Estate this year. “We’re extremely excited about that,” he added.

Jonathan recently had his chairmanship of the Association of Convenience Stores extended for another year, until November 2014.