Plans for a new supermarket and up to 35,000 sq ft of additional retail units have been unveiled for Amble.
The development is earmarked for Coquet Enterprise Park, at the site of the former Northumberland Foods factory, which was demolished in 2013.
A new supermarket would plug the gap left by Tesco, which pulled out of building a major new store in the town, adjacent to the Braid, in 2015.
The retail plans have been brought forward by Northumberland County Council’s regeneration company.
The proposals, approved by its board last week, include an option to sell a 3.58 acre part of the site to a supermarket operator – which has not yet been named – subject to the scheme being given planning permission later this year.
Construction on the various projects would then start in early 2019, with the aim being that the supermarket would be open by that summer.
Chairman of the county council’s regeneration company, Coun Richard Wearmouth, said: “This scheme will help to ensure that one of its key development sites, which has been empty for the best part of a decade is returned to commercial use providing employment to the town once more.
“In making this investment we remain conscious of the need for this scheme to compliment the existing offering on the high street, which has boomed in recent years.
“The council is continuing to explore options for additional car parking to make sure that the town centre will continue to thrive. We hope to have an update for traders and residents soon.”
Coun Jeff Watson, ward member for Amble West with Warkworth, said: “The progress made by Amble in recent years has been tremendous and this scheme has the potential to build on that success. Amble has been crying out for a supermarket for some time and with the significant additional housing being built that need will only become greater still.”
Amble county councillor Terry Clark said that he isn’t against the proposal, depending on which retailers move in and as long as it doesn’t impact on the town centre.
A hotel and restaurant, operated by the Inn Collection Group, is due to open at Coquet Enterprise Park later this year.
The Gazette has been told that there are still no plans for the vacant Tesco-owned site adjacent to the Braid.