MULTI million pound plans for a supermarket in Darwen look set to go ahead after years of wrangling and false starts.

Sainsbury's has won the battle to build the store, which is likely to create around 100 jobs, on council-owned vacant land close to Redearth Road.

Blackburn with Darwen Council decided to accept a bid from the national firm at a private meeting.

Over the last eight years, a series of companies and businessmen have seen plans for a store flounder.

But a council marketing exercise saw two firms come forward to fight for the chance to open a supermarket in Darwen.

A private session of the policy and resources committee decided to accept the Sainsbury's bid.

The 16,000 square feet store is described as a medium-sized supermarket.

Talks have been taking place with council officials and contracts will exchange in the next few weeks.

Council leader Malcolm Doherty said: "The supermarket development is seen as a priority for regenerating Darwen town centre.

"We carefully considered the trading impact, financial implications and viability of both schemes before deciding which company should be granted the lease to develop the site."

Dave Harling, Blackburn with Darwen's property sub-committee chairman, added: "Our primary concern is to ensure that Darwen town centre benefits from the scheme.

"Our aim is to ensure that the town has a quality shopping facility which attracts shoppers and encourages them to use other businesses in the town centre."

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