WORK starts next week on a £25m development to transform Newton Aycliffe.

The town is to get its first supermarket before Christmas after Durham County Council completed its biggest ever land deal.

Developers CTP, from Manchester, move on to the former Avenue Comprehensive School site next week, where a 68,000sq ft Tesco store will be the largest of 20 retail units in the first building phase.

There will also be a replacement youth centre, a town park and new town square. Phase two will include a new library, health centre and drop-in centre for older people.

Sedgefield Borough Council divided the project after a dispute between the owners of the complex and the developers held up progress.

The 16-acre site is the last large area of land likely to become available in Newton Aycliffe and the CTP development was seen as a golden opportunity to improve the town centre.