THE DERELICT former Co-op in Whitton High Street is finally set to re-open after being bought by German supermarket chain Lidl.
Bosses at Lidl had been in discussions with the site's owners and council chiefs for months about taking over the long-vacant premises.
News of the sale will come as a relief to shoppers and traders in the area, who have complained for years about the eyesore.
Confirming the deal on Tuesday, Whitton ward councillor Gareth Elliot said: "After 30 years of dereliction I am very happy to announce that following recent discussions with Lidl the company have now purchased the site and will be looking to bring the shops back into operation.
"Added to this the company have also purchased the flats which they will be refurbishing and bringing back onto the market. This new store will bring new vibrancy into the high street, not to mention jobs and opportunities which will assist in the goal of regenerating our town centre.
"This was a key priority of mine on getting into office and I am very happy to be able to show progress on this site which has been such a blight in Whitton for so long."
Mr Elliot added that he had seen Lidl's proposals for the site and would be following their progress closely once a planning application has been submitted.
Sainsbury's had previously been granted planning permission more than two years ago, only to pull out for commercial reasons. In 2005, a joint bid by High Street traders to buy the store was rejected by the Co-op, which sold it to another bidder.