CONFIRMATION that Morrisons will open a new store in County Durham by the end of the year has been welcomed by Durham County Council.

The new supermarket will open at Dalton Park Outlet Destination at Murton, near Seaham, before Christmas.

The retailer had said it will create about 90 new jobs, but has since corrected its estimate saying there will be closer to 150 roles and that the store will provide essential community services to the area.

At a time when the retail industry is struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the news was described by the county council as a welcome boost to the area and said it highlights the county’s potential to reverse this national trend.

The council has been working with both Dalton Park and Morrisons so they can meet the timescales for the store, which follows the opening of a Morrisons petrol station at the retail park earlier this summer.

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo:

Yesterday, Councillor Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “I’m delighted with today’s announcement as it’s fantastic news for the whole county, as well as the local area.

“The creation of around 150 jobs is significant at any time, but in these uncertain times when the retail industry is especially struggling, it is even more significant.

“We have been working very hard alongside Morrisons and Dalton Park to ensure these plans become a reality and I look forward to this work continuing to ensure the store is up and running before the end of the year.”

Deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, Councillor Alan Napier, said: “This is terrific news for East Durham and the region.

“We have been working so hard to regenerate the east of the county and the A19 corridor and today’s announcement further demonstrates how successful this regeneration is.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing this project being delivered by the end of the year and welcoming more job opportunities to the area. It’s going to be of great benefit to our local communities.”

Morrisons said the recruitment process will begin soon.