The new £7million retail development in Morpeth marked a major milestone this week.
A special topping out ceremony was held to celebrate the steel frame of the building being completed as part of the transformation of the former Morrisons site in the town centre.
Dransfield Properties Ltd, the company behind Sanderson Arcade, is delivering the new development which will bring three new retail units due to be taken by the national retailers Next, Pets at Home and Home Bargains, creating up to 100 new jobs.
The 8,900 sq ft Pets at Home store will also house a grooming parlour and veterinary practice as well as the ground floor retail store.
Next will occupy 20,000 sq ft over two floors and the new Home Bargains store will cover 11,162 sq ft.
The main contractors Tolent are on schedule to complete the main building work in June, with the new stores expected to open later in the summer when their fit-out teams have completed their internal works.
As well as redeveloping the former Morrisons site, significant improvements to the layout and location of the disabled and parent parking spaces are planned as well as the creation of a new glazed canopy which will run along the car park's central walkway.
The SA Taxis office is also being relocated to a new purpose-built pod in the car park and the popular Morpeth Larder is being extended and remodelled to provide more internal space and an attractive new alfresco dining area which will be completed later this month.
Managing director of Dransfield Properties, Mark Dransfield, said: "It is fantastic to see the steel framework completed and the development really starting to take shape.
"It says a great deal about Morpeth as a thriving retail destination that Next, Pets at Home and Home Bargains are investing and opening new stores here and we look forward to seeing the development completed later in the summer.”
Coun Liz Simpson, deputy business chairman of Northumberland County Council, said: “It’s great to see work under way on this new development. We're delighted that the new investment will bring some popular national chains to Morpeth and provide a welcome boost to employment in the town."
Resurfacing work starts on Monday in the town centre car park and is expected to last around two weeks.
The contractors will complete the work in phases to keep as many spaces open as possible while the work is on-going.