Supermarket giant Morrisons new store in St Ives will open early next year - creating 260 jobs.

STORE: The view from the roof of Morrisons' new supermarket in St IvesSTORE: The view from the roof of Morrisons' new supermarket in St Ives

The firm is processing 450 job applications and has already appointed some skilled staff who are undergoing training to be ready for when the doors open.

No firm date has been given yet for the opening, but the new store is expected to be ready by the spring if construction continues as planned through the winter.

The store, off Harrison Way, will have a retail area of 26,000 sq ft and a second retail unit of 10,000 sq ft is also being built as part of the development, with Morrisons saying it has already had interest from potential operators.

Morrisons opened up the new store on Thursday for an exclusive visit by The Hunts Post.

STORE: Inside the new Morrisons supermarket which has been unveiled for the first timeSTORE: Inside the new Morrisons supermarket which has been unveiled for the first time

Manager Paul White said: “I am really pleased to be opening up a new store which is a fantastic opportunity and I am really pleased to be opening in St Ives.

“We are already taking on skilled colleagues such as butchers, bakers and fishmongers and they are starting their 12-week training programme.

“We are still looking for other colleagues to appoint. There will be 260 jobs and we already have had 450 applications.”

Mr White said they were working closely with the Jobcentre on the vacancies.

STORE: New Morrrisons  manager Paul White with people managers Sarah Knight and Stuart RaisonSTORE: New Morrrisons manager Paul White with people managers Sarah Knight and Stuart Raison

He said the firm was paying from £9 an hour which was “very competitive”.

Local county councillor Kevin Reynolds said: “It is a welcome addition to St Ives, we have needed another good supermarket in the town.

“I know many people already travel to Morrisons in Cambourne so this will help keep the money in St Ives. It is a win-win situation for everybody.”

St Ives mayor Cllr Philip Pope said: “Hopefully they will integrate into the town, which I am sure they will.

STORE: New Morrrisons manager Paul White (right) withpeople managers Stuart Raison and Sarah KnightSTORE: New Morrrisons manager Paul White (right) withpeople managers Stuart Raison and Sarah Knight

“I think that it is going to be a good thing for the town.”

Morrisons was first given the go-ahead to build a store in 2014 which was welcomed by the community, but the project went quiet and there were fears it would not go ahead after supermarket groups nationwide were hit by a change in shopping patterns.

But earlier this year the firm’s revised application was approved at work started at the end of July.

At present many St Ives residents do their shopping in Huntingdon, Bar Hill and Cambourne.