A DERELICT pub in Rudheath is being transformed into a £600,000 showpiece supermarket.

Twenty new jobs will be created when The Co-operative launches its new Middlewich Road store on Friday, February 22, in the redeveloped building formerly occupied by the Farmer's Arms.

The pub, which had been on Middlewich Road for more than 150 years, closed in March 2005 to the dismay of regulars, bowlers and residents.

It was boarded up, left to decay and vandalised.

Pupils from Victoria Road Community Primary School will perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new store and accept a £500 donation for their school funds from store manager Mark Thorley.

He told the Guardian: "As a community retailer it is appropriate that we involve the community in our special events and we are delighted our local school is playing a central role in the opening of our store."

The new store will feature an automatic door, a disabled ramp and plenty of on-site parking.

A free-to-use cash machine has been installed inside and the store will also feature the paypoint service.

In-store, there will be an emphasis on fresh foods including freshly baked breads and pastries and a range of hot food.

As the leading supermarket supporter of Fairtrade, The Co-operative's popular Fairtrade products will be available as well as the store's own range of health and beauty products that are not tested on animals.

Mr Thorley added: "We will offer shoppers the best in modern convenience retailing and I'm confident they will be delighted with the store.

"We look forward to supporting the local community in the best traditions of The Co-operative."