A SUPERMARKET will be coming to Crook, with plans due to be submitted in the next few months, councillors have confirmed.

At their meeting in Crook Civic Centre yesterday, Durham County Council's cabinet heard proposals for the future of the town - the priority being a supermarket in the town centre.

Rumours have been rife for several years about a foodstore replacing the library and council depot, next to Crook marketplace.

County council leader Simon Henig confirmed yesterday that it was planned to move the library into Crook Civic Centre, which would free up the town centre site for redevelopment.

Councillor Henig also said discussions were ongoing with a supermarket chain, rumoured locally to be Tesco, and plans are expected to be submitted to the council's planning department in the early part of next year.

The civic centre, known locally as the Pagoda, was built in 1988 as the base for Wear Valley District Council.

Large parts of the building are now empty as a result of the former district council merging with the unitary authority of Durham County Council in 2009.

Following the unpopular closure of Glenholme Leisure Centre in October, the council now plans to install a fitness suite, including gym equipment, in the civic centre, with the library also moving in by next June.

The council also confirmed £500,000 put aside for the refurbishment of the Elite Hall - which will now cost nearly twice that much to repair - will be used on leisure facilities in Crook.

The proposed supermarket inCrook would be the fourth supermarket to come to Wear Valley in as many years.

Sainsbury's and Tesco opened stores in St Helen Auckland last autumn while plans for a supermarket in the centre ofWillington, less than three miles from Crook, have also been approved recently.

Eddie Tomlinson, county councillor for Crook South, said the new supermarket would improve choice for shoppers as well as increase footfall in the town centre, having a positive knock-on effect on other businesses.

He also said he was confident that despite the loss of Glenholme, the county council will provide leisure facilities for the town, starting with extra support for existing sports groups, including the football, cricket and golf clubs.