The Co-op has served up its newest food store on in County Durham Village Bowburn following a £615,000 investment.

The store, which is based on Durham Road, was opened by children from Bowburn Infant and Nursery School.

Before the opening of the Co-op store, Bowburn did not have a large supermarket, and villagers faced a five mile journey to the nearest major food retailer. The new Co-op food store boasts a bakery and self-service tills alongside fresh, healthy foods, meal ideas, award winning wines, food to go and essentials.

Deborah Bradley, the store’s new manager, said: “We are delighted to have undertaken such a significant investment in Bowburn and are excited to have the opportunity to serve the community.”

The store is also set to bring a boost to local charities and organisations through the Co-op’s Membership scheme – members receive a 5% reward when they buy own-brand products with a further 1% donated to local good causes.

Peter Bartley, group director at Bradley Hall Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, who acted on behalf of the former owners, Ramside Estates Limited, said: “The recent deal comes following a string of successful projects between Bradley Hall and the Co-op, and we are delighted to be continuing this partnership with the opening of the new, relocated Bowburn store.

“Such investment and development in stores across the region reflects Co-op’s commitment to growth and confidence in the North East and the local community”.

Terry Johnstone, Co-op area manager, said: “The Co-op is moving forward with a clear purpose and momentum. Our ambition is to ensure the store is a local hub, a real asset for the community.

“We also want shoppers to know that they can become a co-owner and member of their Co-op. Our members can make a difference locally and simply by swiping their membership card when they shop with us, they will raise much needed funding for organisations in their area who contribute to improving local life.”

Further information about the benefits of Co-op membership and, its Local Community Fund, is available by visiting:http://www.coop.co.uk/membership/