Retail scheme was initially shelved after developer went into liquidation

An £80m retail development in Cumbria has been given the go-ahead, two years after the scheme collapsed.

Contractor Thomas Armstrong was initially awarded the contract in October 2008 to deliver a town centre extension known as Penrith New Squares.

However the project was halted when the developer, Lowther Manelli, lost its funding and fell into liquidation. As a result Thomas Armstrong was forced to lay off 20 staff.

The development received a lifeline when J Sainsbury took control last year.

After a period of consultation, the revised scheme will include a 55,000ft2 supermarket, car park, shops and 199 houses and flats.

Thomas Armstrong is back on site and preliminary works have already begun. Construction is to commence shortly with the supermarket scheduled for an April 2012 opening.