AN eagerly awaited supermarket will open its doors for the first time next week.

Durham County Council received almost 100 letters of support when Lidl UK submitted plans to build a store in New Road in Crook in 2015.

The town has been without a large supermarket since November 2014 when the Co-op, which previously occupied the New Road site, closed down.

The store employed 83 people and many residents were angry that they would be forced to travel to Bishop Auckland, Spennymoor and other surrounding towns to do a big grocery shop.

But on Thursday, June 1, the wait for a new supermarket will be over, with a ribbon cutting ceremony taking place at the Lidl store at 8am.

Customers will be invited to sample a range of products throughout the day and there will be exclusive offers during the first week of trading.

The new 1,424m² Lidl store has created up to 40 new jobs and features modern facilities, including an in-store bakery, longer-style tills with dual packing, customer toilets, baby changing and parking for cars and bicycles.

It forms part of the company’s ongoing expansion and regeneration plans in the UK which will see its existing store portfolio of 650 stores increase to up to 1,500.

Lidl UK’s regional head of property, David Murphy, said it was fantastic to create a new supermarket in Crook.

“We would like to thank all those who have played a part in bringing this new Lidl store to Crook,” he added.

“It is great for us to be able to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area, and we can’t wait to start serving our multi-award winning products to the local community.”