Supermarket giant Tesco has agreed to sell the Bedlington store.
An agreement has been reached subject to approvals, for Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, to purchase all of the property assets owned by Tesco in Bedlington, including the former food store.
Steven Mason, lead executive director at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are very pleased to be able to announce that Tesco has agreed to sell its store and other assets to Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, providing an exciting opportunity to guide positive development.
“Bedlington has always been a priority for the council, and this is just the first step in progressing ambitious plans for the future.”
Following the news that Tesco would be closing its store in the town the council commissioned Arch to develop and draw up a comprehensive investment strategy for Bedlington.
This purchase is the first phase in the start of a whole new journey for the town as Northumberland County Council, in partnership with Arch, will now develop, fund and deliver an exciting new Investment Strategy, the focus of which will be a better retail and leisure offer, with new homes for sale and rent.
The agreement to purchase the properties is in principle and subject to both Tesco and Arch board approval in June and the sale is expected to be completed by the beginning of July.
Steven Mason added: “The council is committed to supporting regeneration and business growth in town centres and fully appreciates the importance of the vibrancy of the town centre to all Bedlington residents.
“Further consultation and community engagement will take place as this work progresses.
“I hope this reassures local residents that the council is committed to addressing their concerns.”
Peter McIntyre, Arch Group Managing Director said: “The Bedlington investment is a major step forward for the area, and we are positive that securing the Tesco assets is the first phase in turning plans into reality.
“We have been tremendously encouraged by the active involvement of local people and this will help us to shape the future development of the town centre.
“We will now be working closely with Tesco and Northumberland County Council to ensure that Bedlington town centre has the best possible opportunities for the future.”
Tesco spokesperson, Mark Thomas, said: “We made a commitment to work closely with the council and Arch to ensure a positive future for Bedlington and we are encouraged to have now agreed in principle to sell the store and adjoining land to Arch.”