'Great to see a local coming back to their roots' - readers react to Heather Mills' plans for Walkers factory in Peterlee
A former crisp factory which employed hundreds of people across the North East is being given a new lease of life.
Heather Mills yesterday revealed that she has bought the former Walkers crisp factory in Peterlee to expand her vegan food range, VBites.
Born and raised in Washington, Heather was inspired to take on the premises, which shut at the end of 2017, after hearing her friend had lost their job due to Walkers' closure.
She hopes to have the factory up and running in November, with an initial employee number of 130. There are plans to hire additional workers as the range expands and gains popularity.
You had plenty to say about the news.
Here are some of your comments from social media:
Mikei Adam Hubbard: "I think it's fantastic that a Northern lass is supporting the people of Peterlee and surrounding areas, it'll be a great balance for the community and hopefully see those who were made redundant back in jobs."
Kevin Cuthbert: "I wish her the best of luck on this venture as how many companies are pulling out of the UK and going abroad taking trade's and employment with them."
Frankie Elise Ward: "Well I myself am not vegan but I think it's a brilliant idea!
"The vegan lifestyle is more and more common these days and it's good to see that people are adjusting with people's preferences.
"Also the fact so many people are out of work and struggling massively through different benefit changes, this gives them a chance to be self sufficient! Good luck with this new venture and all those who get to make it a success!"
Neil M Robinson: "Brilliant news. Great to see a local coming back to their roots and helping to create jobs. Well done."
Carrie Sanders: "All I can say is well done to her ,1, for keeping a well-known crisp factory open and, 2, for keeping people in jobs."
Sue Smith: "Good luck to her and for bringing employment to the region."
Amanda Raine: "Love her work for the animal welfare, well done Heather I'll be gracing your aisles...fabulous!"
Craig Moreland: "Loyalty breeds loyalty. hats off to her."
Ann Cook: "Go on Heather show what disabled people can do. Best of luck to you."
Tracy Lovegrove: "Amazing well done, changed my mind on this girl!"
Annie Cosgrove Murray: "Well done, any jobs are worth it. She is from Washington maybe she could invest in her home town."
John Waters: "All the luck in the world, you make the North East very proud of you. Thank you."
Alice House Hospice: "Great to hear of new jobs in the area."
Andy Precious Hill: "Fed up of hearing stories of high street stores closing down and creating job losses of the masses. Good to hear positivity for a change."
Memory Creator MC: "I live Horden and know of many who lost their jobs, due to Walkers closing. Be great to help build Peterlee and neighbouring villages back up with local jobs for the community. Will share the GOOD NEWS. It being Heather Mills is a bonus."
Margaret Hall: "Pleased to hear the news of Walkers crisps reopening, there is an angel watching over Peterlee, good luck."
John Wakeling: "Well done to her. Hopefully it’ll help more people to choose a vegan lifestyle."