The first big name to sign up for the second phase of the Chequers Court development in Huntingdon has been revealed.

Retail giant Marks and Spencer has announced it will open one of its Simply Food outlets in the long awaited centre.

A spokesman for M&S told The Hunts Post: “We can confirm we’ve submitted a planning application to open a foodhall in Chequers Court, Huntingdon.”

The announcement comes seven years after the chain moved out of the now British Heart Foundation furniture unit, in High Street, as part of a cost-cutting exercise that saw 29 jobs cut in the town.

It has been proposed that M&S will move into unit 1a of the shopping centre but it is not known who will take up the other two stores.

In plans submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council the chain has stated: “Marks & Spencer propose to take occupancy of a proposed new retail unit, which is part of a development scheme known as Chequers Court Shopping Centre within Huntingdon town centre.”

The plan to open the store is a part of the retailers scheme to increase the size of its foodhalls and cut back on the space it devotes to fashion.

The unveiling of M&S comes days after budget chain Aldi has been given the go ahead to build Huntingdon’s fifth supermarket in Edison Bell Way.

Aldi property director Lisa Poyser said: “We are delighted that the planning application for a new ALDI has been approved. We know that many local people are looking forward to the store opening, as it will make it much easier for them to shop and save with ALDI.”

The discount giant hopes that construction on the 13,000 sq feet store will start after Easter and plan to open later this year.

The store will create up to 50 new jobs and “Aldi would actively seek to recruit people from the local area to fill these positions”.

Aldi now have three years to build the supermarket which will be located nearby rival retailer Lidl that opened in Stukeley Road in December last year.