A NEW superstore being built in Pendle could be at the centre of a double century celebration.

The Nelson supermarket is in line to become Morrisons' 100th store in the company's centenary year.

But the race to be the store to reach the centenary "checkout" is not a one horse race, according to the firm.

"At the moment we can't say for definite but it looks more likely than not that Nelson will be our 100th store," said press officer Nicky Perez.

"It all depends on the order in which we open the four new stores we have planned for this year and whether we buy other stores in the meantime.

"We can definitely say that by the Millennium we will have 100 stores including one at Nelson."

Morrisons has put together a panel of managers to plan an extravaganza to mark the 100th store in the company's 100th year.

"The panel has been set up but there are no confirmed plans at the moment," said Nicky.

"We will have a better idea of what will be happening by the end of next month."

Bradford-based Morrisons has 96 stores at the moment with four more, including Nelson, planned to open this year. Letchworth, Norwich and Newcastle-under-Lyne are also in the running to become the 100th store although Letchworth is expected to be the first to open its doors.

The Nelson store, which will employ around 300 people, is taking shape on the Seedhill Mill site of former textile firm J B Battye.

The mill was demolished last year to make way for the superstore which is scheduled to open in the autumn.

It will include underground and ground level parking for 570 cars and a petrol station built on a corner site across Pendle Street.

Councillors are pinning their hopes on the store forming an integral part of a major regeneration scheme for the whole town centre, bringing in shoppers to the area.

There are plans to improve pedestrian access between the store and the centre.

Morrisons' only other East Lancashire store is in Blackburn.

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