MORE than 150 people have visited an exhibition about a proposed new supermarket for their town.

Tesco is looking to submit a planning application for a 250-job store in Stanley and held a two-day exhibition in the town to outline the proposal.

The company said residents had supported the plan, which would mark a major step in the regeneration of the County Durham town.

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Couple David and Moira Harker, both 70, who live in St Aubyns Way, said their town was in desperate need of investment.

Mr Harker said: "I have lived in Stanley all my life and have seen it at is best – surrounded by industry.

"When that went we had lots of companies, receiving government incentives, coming and then going.

"We have got to bring the people back. This will revitalise Stanley."

Tesco says the location of the 61,000 sq ft store in Clifford Road would also encourage shoppers to visit traders on Front Street, which was hit by two devastating fires late last year.

The firm’s corporate affairs manager Mark Thomas said: "We will provide free parking for a period long enough for that to happen.

"We hope that our proposals will help with Stanley’s wider regeneration, acting as a catalyst for further investment.

"The response from residents to our plan has been very encouraging, with people emphasising the importance of new jobs and the chance to improve this part of Stanley".

Coun Katherine Dearden, who represents Stanley on Durham County Council, supported Tesco’s proposal.

She said: "This level of investment and the new jobs will be great for Stanley.

"Stanley has been through a particularly tough time, but I would like to think that this could be the start of a revival of its fortunes."

Tesco is now analysing residents’ comments which will help shape the planning application expected to be submitted over the next few months. If development is approved, work is expected to start late in 2016 or early 2017.