A SUPERMARKET chain is bidding to open a new store in Darwen town centre.

Bosses at Lidl will be submitting a planning application to Blackburn with Darwen Council within the next few weeks for a store in Duckworth Street.

If permission is granted the supermarket will be built at the Horizon Foam Holdings site between Vale Street and Robert Street.

And traders have said it would be a 'welcome boost to the area'.

Lidl representatives will be holding an open day on Friday September 21 at Darwen Library Theatre from 12pm to 4.30pm for residents to discuss the proposed development and sample a selection of the store's produce.

A Lidl spokesperson said: "We have been looking to build a store in Darwen as part of our ongoing expansion programme throughout the UK.

"The event is to allow traders and residents the opportunity to discuss any aspect of the proposed development.

"We see Darwen as having limited food retail choice with its residents having to travel some distance to achieve quality choice and value.

"At present the closest Lidl store is on Kings Street, Whalley Banks, Blackburn.

"The proposed site will be ideally situated to serve the needs of residents living in and around the Darwen area, bringing jobs and investment, as well as a much-needed alternative discount food store."

Heather Ashurst, executive member of the Darwen Chamber of Trade, and owner of Cameo Cutting Shop, Railway Road, Darwen, said: "I think it is great news and is a really good idea.

"It won't rival Sainsbury's in Hardman Way either.

"The site they have chosen is excellent.

"The supermarket will be a welcome boost and would revitalise the area.

"And I hope it will encourage other businesses to open in Darwen.

"It would be smashing to see them open in Darwen."

David Hollins, councillor for the Sunnyhurst ward, said: "A major company wanting to invest in Darwen shows that they have the confidence in the area to make such a move."