Cinema, hotel, restaurants and supermarket on the way as work starts on £45million expansion at Dalton Park

Officially marking the start of the work on the second phase of Dalton Park, left to right, Durham County Councillors Alan Napier, Joyce Maitland, Grahame Morris MP, Murton Parish Councillor Tom Pinkney and Clerk Lesley Armstrong

Officially marking the start of the work on the second phase of Dalton Park, left to right, Durham County Councillors Alan Napier, Joyce Maitland, Grahame Morris MP, Murton Parish Councillor Tom Pinkney and Clerk Lesley Armstrong

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A leisure park will change lives according to a village leader as he joined celebrations to mark the start of a £45million project.

Murton Parish Council chairman Tom Pinkney was among community chiefs who helped cut the first turf of Dalton Park’s extension.

I’m delighted because I was in the original Dalton Park Action Group and we collected 16,000 signatures to get phase one and we were promised a phase two.

Councillor Tom Pinkney, chairman of Murton Parish Council

It will see 500 people recruited locally and feature a Morrisons supermarket, petrol station, hotel, pub, Cineworld and restaurants run by KFC, Pizza Express, Prezzo and Frankie and Benny’s.

Work is scheduled to be complete by May and support 400 construction jobs.

Councillor Pinkney said: “I’m delighted, because I was in the original Dalton Park Action Group and we collected 16,000 signatures to get phase one, and we were promised a phase two.

“Now we have that taking place and it is going to make such a big difference to the people of the village.

“There are a lot here who want jobs and have no security, and this is going to change their livelihoods.

“I think they will appreciate it and take great care of what they are going to get.”

Centre manager Jerry Hatch said: “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.”

Easington MP Grahame Morris, said: “The ground-breaking represents nearly two decades of work by the local community, local representatives and developers, to complete both the retail and leisure aspects of Dalton Park.”