Store is ready for business

Pupils from All Saints First School at Morpeth have a tour around the new Morrisons store at Morpeth before it officially opens to the public-pupils (left to right) Lucia Sedgwick-Lee, Andrew Hamilton and Luke McCurrley are seen in the store's bakery.'REF 1607131577
Pupils from All Saints First School at Morpeth have a tour around the new Morrisons store at Morpeth before it officially opens to the public-pupils (left to right) Lucia Sedgwick-Lee, Andrew Hamilton and Luke McCurrley are seen in the store's bakery.'REF 1607131577

MORPETH’S new supermarket will open its doors on Monday.

Morrisons is moving from its building in Stanley Terrace to bigger premises in Low Stanners, which will create 83 new jobs.

And the parking arrangements for the outdoor spaces have been revealed, with shoppers able to get the charge for stopping refunded if they spend a certain amount in store.

The 25,750 sq ft development, which will employ 250 people in total, was built by Dransfield Properties after it received full planning permission in July 2011.

Morrisons says the supermarket’s layout is designed to reflect its focus on traditional skills such as butchers, bakers and fishmongers.

Customers will be able to see staff kneading dough at the front of the bakery, making sausages behind open-plan counters and hand-finishing cakes.

Pupils from All Saints First School were the first to have a look round at a preview tour on Tuesday before enjoying lunch in the cafe area.

Store General Manager, Keith Nicholson, said: “I’d like to thank local residents for their patience while the store was being built and I hope that when we open they’ll be as impressed with the new store as I am.

“The layout is fantastic, with much more space than the old store, and the open-plan counters mean that shoppers will know that a lot of the food they’re buying is made from scratch in the store.”

There were objections to the supermarket from many people living in Staithes Lane, who had to put up with noise, dust and a period where they could not park on their drive or designated spaces during the construction phase.

One of the residents, Frances Elliott, said: “There was an issue two weeks ago when delivery lorries blocked driveways because they turned up well before the storage area was due to open. We’ve been told by the company that these vehicles will not be coming down the lane at certain times once the store opens, so we’ll see if it keeps to its word.

“Another issue is the noise from some young people in the underground car park because of its open layout. When it’s unlocked, the car park is easily accessible to people.”

The short-stay outdoor car park will be managed by Europarks and will provide 283 pay-and-display spaces with charges as follows: £1 for up to one hour, if you spend £5 or more in store you receive a £1 refund; £2 for up to three hours, if you spend £5 or more in store you receive a £2 refund.

The chargeable hours are 8am to 6pm (not the opening times of the store). The car park will be opened at 6am and closed at 9.15pm.

As the facility is privately managed, Northumberland County Council parking permits (both shoppers’ and county-wide) cannot be used in the short-stay car park.

All 224 parking spaces at the Staithes Lane undercroft long-stay car park, which is managed by the county council, will be available from Monday.