Shopping giant Lidl has targeted a huge list of potential sites across the North East for new stores that could bring hundreds of jobs.

The company has been named as the fastest growing supermarket following a rise in sales of nearly 26%, and opened more than 50 new stores last year. But now it says it is so desperate for new sites it will PAY members of the public for tip-offs and site suggestions.

A finder’s fee of either 1.5% of the total freehold or 10% of the first year’s rent for leaseholds will be given to anyone, including members of the public, who successfully identify sites with easy access for pedestrians and space for parking.

The full list of areas in the North that Lidl wants to target is:

1. Barrow - North

2. Barrow - South

3. Benton

4. Berwick

5. Boldon

6. Carlisle - North

7. Carlisle - West

8. Chester-le-Street

9. Cramlington

10. Darlington - North

11. Darlington - South

12. Eston

13. Filey

14. Gateshead - Bensham

15. Gateshead - Birtley

16. Gateshead - Low Fell

17. Gateshead - Ryton

18. Gateshead - Wrekenton (relocation)

19. Jarrow

20. Keswick

21. Marske/Saltburn

22. Middlesbrough - Linthorpe

23. Middlesbrough - Marton

24. Middlesbrough - South West

25. Morpeth (rel)

26. Newcastle - City Centre West

27. Newcastle - Gosforth/ Fawdon

28. Newcastle - High Heaton

29. Newcastle - Kingston Park

30. Newcastle - North Gosforth

31. Newcastle - West Denton/Chapel Park

32. Newton Aycliffe

33. North Shields

34. Penrith

35. Ponteland

36. Prudhoe

37. Redcar

38. Scarborough - North

39. Seaham

40. Sedgefield

41. Shiremoor

42. South Shields - Laygate (rel)

43. South Shields - Marsden

44. Stanley

45. Stockton - Billingham

46. Stockton - Ingleby Barwick

47. Stockton - Yarm

48. Stokesley

49. Sunderland - City Centre West

50. Sunderland - Doxford Park

51. Sunderland - Roker (rel)

52. Tynemouth

53. Ulverston

54. Whitehaven

55. Whitley Bay

56. Windermere

The Northern Echo: The famous Lidl brandThe famous Lidl brand (Image: Press release)

Ryan McDonnell, Lidl GB CEO, said: “The last few years have been challenging for everyone, but we’ve made it clear that we’re more committed than ever to ensuring that every single household has access to a Lidl store. That’s why our focus is firmly on the future as we continue to grow and invest in our infrastructure, while keeping a lookout for more sites and locations across the country.

“We had over 1.4 million new shoppers coming to us from our competitors over the course of last year. This alone shows the potential for continued growth as customers refuse to pay a premium for their shopping, when they know they can get the same, if not better quality at Lidl. As we progress further into 2023, we know that more shoppers will make the switch, and whichever of our stores they choose, they know they’re getting the best value.”

Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced continuous growth and today has over 29,500 employees, over 950 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.

It is part of the Schwarz retail group, which generated a turnover of €133.6 billion in the financial year 2021.