Local school pupil Corban Bruce cut the ceremonial ribbon to open Morrisons new supermarket in Birtley, Gateshead after winning a competition to design a new carrier bag. The long-awaited store has created 137 new jobs in the town. The former car park site was developed in partnership with Morbaine and Gateshead Council, who see the new store as playing a key role in supporting Birtley’s High Street. The 26,000 sq ft store has a pedestrian link bridge between the supermarket and a terraced office / retail development, which fronts on to the town’s High Street. Both the sales floor and service yard are built ‘on stilts’ to accommodate a covered lower level car park with 286 spaces.