Supermarket peek

Morrison's plan a new store at the former North Blunts primary school site on the edge of Peterlee town centre.
Morrison's plan a new store at the former North Blunts primary school site on the edge of Peterlee town centre.
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A SUPERMARKET chain’s vision of its latest store has been unveiled.

Morrisons hopes to create the superstore on the site of North Blunts Primary School, in Peterlee, as part of multimillion-pound proposals by developers.

The plan also includes 51 new affordable homes on the ITEC site, in Neville Road, relocating rugby pitches at Helford Road and improved football facilities at Eden Lane.

It is one of three supermarket plans submitted for the town,.

Tesco hopes to build a shop on the former East Durham College site at the corner of Burnhope Way and Essington Way and the owner of the Castle Dene shopping centre has proposed its own plans.

The three applications are to be discussed alongside the £24million plan for phase two of Dalton Park, in Murton, which could see a supermarket, petrol station, cinema, hotel and restaurants built on the former pit heap.

Durham County Council has said it expects the schemes to be considered by planners at a public meeting on Tuesday, April 5.

Computer-generated images of what the Morrisons store could look like have been released by the company ahead of the meeting.

Its bosses say the shop would increase choice and competition between businesses in the area and give the town a 350 jobs boost.

Morrisons recently announced it planned to train more than 12,000 apprentices this year, making it the largest provider of such a scheme in the country.

Development executive Andrew Cooper said: “Developing our own people through training has been part of the Morrisons success story for many years.

“We would like to offer these long-term career opportunities and the chance of obtaining transferable skills to the people of Peterlee.

“We believe in giving everyone the ability to progress from the shop floor to the top floor in our business.

“For example, 80 per cent of our employees achieve promotion within the company, 30 per cent of our senior management group started on the shop floor without a university qualification, and 95 per cent of our store managers are promoted internally.”

He added the firm worked with local employment partnerships to build on existing skills and training initiatives in communities, with at least 35 per cent of those employed in its new outlets previously unemployed.