HUNDREDS of people visited a new store in the region on its opening day.

Next has renovated the former Woolworth’s store, in Darlington town centre, and opened it to shoppers yesterday. It was formerly based in a unit opposite.

Manager Michael Jenney said: “It is great news for the town and it’s good to see such a big investment being made in Darlington.

“We are hoping that it will help stem the flow of retail traffic from Darlington out to Teesside and further areas.

“I think people from rural County Durham will also be more likely to visit the town for their shopping needs, which is good for other retailers.

“The team is very proud to be working here.

“The store also shows that, despite the current economic situation, people are still willing to invest.”

Sales manager Claire Molyneux said: “We had people queuing outside the store waiting for it to open and we must have had well over 1,000 people through the doors on the first day.

“It is clearly what the people of Darlington want and need.”