WORK on the new Aldi store in Westhoughton could finally begin this summer — and bosses are hoping it will open at the beginning of next year.

The highly-anticipated development behind the town hall received planning permission in 2016 but construction has yet to start.

There were rumours that the lack of activity was due to delays in signing various legal agreements.

But the German supermarket giant has now revealed that residents might not have to wait much longer.

An Aldi spokesman said: “We are due to begin construction of our new Westhoughton store this summer and expect to open in early 2019.”

The project will create a 20,000 square foot Aldi store and 98 parking spaces.

It will regenerate the former Glebe Mill site off Bolton Road, which lies just behind Westhoughton Town Hall.

The development site also includes Bolton Road town centre car park, which will be relocated as part of the plans.

Aldi has previously stated that the scheme will create 50 jobs that will be prioritised for people living in the area.

It will mean the current council car park in Bolton Road will be lost but a new 76-space public car park will be created on land off Library Street.

The old one can not be shut until the new one is formed as per the conditions of the planning permission.

The Department for Transport officially gave Aldi the green light to close the Bolton Road car park last summer.

Construction of its replacement began in October and a few days ago workers began the process of felling some of the trees next to the car park.

Westhoughton town councillor Ryan Battersby previously stated that Aldi is a popular topic of discussion when he speaks with residents.

He said: "Everyone seems to be pleased that Aldi is coming. It has taken months and months to start the process.

""I am very pleased. It (the site) has been an eyesore for many years and it will be changing into something that will be useful for everyone."