A SUPERMARKET chain which was given planning permission to build a new store six years has confirmed it will finally open by the end of 2020.

Bosses at the Dalton Park Outlet Destination, at Murton, County Durham, this morning announced that a new Morrisons store will open on the site by the end of the year.

Work is now underway to complete the store which will lead to the creation of 90 new jobs.

The news follows the opening of a Morrisons petrol station earlier this summer at the entrance to the scheme, and delays in the opening of the main supermarket.

Jerry Hatch, Centre Manager at Dalton Park, said: "We are delighted to confirm that Morrisons will be opening a store at Dalton Park before Christmas this year.

“A lot of hard work has been carried out behind the scenes in recent months and the announcement today is testament to the efforts of several parties.

“The new Morrisons store will create significant job opportunities, which would be fantastic in normal times, so to be able to announce this during the current climate is very uplifting.

“We look forward to seeing this project being delivered and the benefits it will bring to our community."

A spokeswoman for Morrisons said: “Following the successful launch of our petrol station, we now plan to open the Morrisons Dalton Park store by the end of this year.

“Specialist teams are working to transform the unit into a new look Morrisons store and recruitment for around 90 new colleagues will start shortly.

"We would like to thank the community for their continued patience and look forward to welcoming them to the store."

Plans for a petrol station and supermarket to be built at Dalton Park were given the go-ahead by Durham County Council planning chiefs in 2014 and the site was handed over to Morrisons as part of a £45 million expansion plan at the retail and leisure park.

But shoppers had been in limbo since 2016, when the retailer put its plans on hold so this announcement is likely to be welcomed by many.

Easington MP Grahame Morris said: "This is welcome news.

"The empty unit at Dalton Park has been a source of frustration as the whole community could see the potential of a new supermarket.

"I am delighted Morrisons will open a new supermarket by the end of the year bringing much-needed jobs and investment in time for Christmas."