WORK on a new multi-million pound shopping centre in Redcar will start this summer.

Contractor Teesland Development will begin with highway work for Regent Walk, a joint venture between Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and regional development agency One NorthEast.

The council said the development at Wilton Street will create about 250 jobs during construction and around 400 permanent jobs in the shops when they open, hopefully by December 2002.

The development will include a Morrisons supermarket, 23 shops units and parking for nearly 700 cars. Shoppers will be able to walk in a traffic-free mall, lined with shops from the car park and bus stops, directly into the High Street.

Council leader David Walsh said: "Regent Walk is an integral part of the overall regeneration we promised the borough.

"We do not pretend it has been an easy process, but the end result will be well worth waiting for."

One NorthEast deputy chairman, John Williams, said it 'marks a major step forward towards the comprehensive transformation of Redcar town centre.'