New Sunderland Sainsbury’s opens its doors + VIDEO

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SUNDERLAND’S new superstore opened its doors to the public this morning.

Sainsbury’s, Sunderland North, was unveiled by city Mayor Iain Kay, who cut the ribbon before the store opened to the public at 9am.

Mayor of Sunderland, Iain Kay, Store manager Chris Stevens and Castle View academy pupil, Alex Naisbet officially opening the new Sainsbury's store on Wessington Way in North Sunderland.

Mayor of Sunderland, Iain Kay, Store manager Chris Stevens and Castle View academy pupil, Alex Naisbet officially opening the new Sainsbury's store on Wessington Way in North Sunderland.

The new supermarket is around 64,000 square feet and has created more than 250 jobs.

Store manager Chris Stevens, of Seaburn Dene, said: “I think we’re up to around 270 members of staff now. About 25 moved internally and we have taken on 12 Remploy employees. The rest have all been taken on through our recruitment process.”

Guests were invited to preview the store – the development began in March last year – last night. Mayor Kay was among the guests.

He said: “It is great to see such a modern and stylish store opening here in Sunderland North. It is an area that has been under-served in the past, especially of this kind of facility.

Store manager Chris Stevens with the Mayor of the City of Sunderland Coun Iain Kay at a special preview for the new Sainsbury's North store opening today.

Store manager Chris Stevens with the Mayor of the City of Sunderland Coun Iain Kay at a special preview for the new Sainsbury's North store opening today.

“It is very exciting to see a strong connection to the community through the learning facility. That a resource like that has been set aside for community use, and not hidden away, is great.”

Castle View Academy pupil Alex Naisbet, 12, drew a design for the store’s bag for life, and was on hand to help at the opening this morning.

Mr Stevens, who has worked for Sainsbury’s since 2004, said: “I am really looking forward to the opening and I am a very proud lad. To bring these kind of job opportunities and choice to the area is bringing Sainsbury’s home for me.”

The new store will also have the lowest price of any Sainsbury’s filling station in the country. Petrol will be priced around 129.9p and diesel 138.9p.