Big-name restaurant chains join £45m Dalton Park expansion – start date set for May

WE'RE GROWING: Dalton Park manager Jerry Hatch celebrates with shop workers at the announcement its expansion will begin soon.

WE'RE GROWING: Dalton Park manager Jerry Hatch celebrates with shop workers at the announcement its expansion will begin soon.

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BOSSES at Dalton Park have revealed more names have signed up to move into their new £45million expansion, set to trigger hundreds of new jobs.

The owners of the Murton-based complex have announced they will welcome Pizza Express and Prezzo to its phase two development, which will also include a Morrisons supermarket, petrol station, hotel, pub and seven-screen Cineworld cinema.

The restaurants will join a drive-thru KFC and a Frankie and Benny’s diner which have already been confirmed as tenants.

Peveril Securities has also confirmed work on the site, adjacent to the shopping outlet built on the former pit plot, will begin in May and will take a year. The budget for the project has also risen by £10million to £45million.

The number of retail jobs it is expected to generate is also up by 100 to a total of 600 positions, with the construction of the site expected to support 400 jobs.

The extension plans were backed by a huge community campaign but opposed by Castle Dene shopping centre and Tesco, as they both gained planning permission for rival stores in Peterlee at the same time.

They argued there was not enough demand for all three stores. Tesco has since shelved its scheme and Castle Dene’s has not come to fruition.

Dalton Park bosses have also offered an explanation over why there has been a hold-up in starting the development, which was given planning approval by Durham County Council in June 2011 and then given the go-ahead by the Department of Communities and Local Government after it looked over the scheme.

A spokesman for Peveril Securities said: “This has been a complex development due to the number of organisations and brands involved, each with individual requirements, which has contributed to the later than conceived start date.

“With build go-ahead now confirmed, Dalton Park wishes to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the many supporters, both locally and region-wide for their continued commitment and interest in the future of the outlet and phase two developments.

“This support has been invaluable, demonstrating unwavering community commitment to the project.”

Jerry Hatch, general manager of outlets for Knight Frank, which manages Dalton Park, said: “Now we’re finally underway, phase two will be a tremendous addition to the community and the region.
“Not only will it enhance our current retail offer and provide a fantastic range of leisure and service facilities for visitors - it will provide a significant number of new jobs thereby continuing our investment in local regeneration.

“We thank everyone who has supported the project and look forward to an exciting 2015.”

Dalton Park has reported a strong start to the New Year with sales up by 6.5 per cent.

The outlet is also due to see bedding and towel shop Christy’s and clothing firm Bench open during the spring.