Grahame Morris MP has welcomed the news that the sale of the former Walkers Crisps factory in Peterlee has been confirmed.

Around 335 jobs were lost when the factory on the North East Industrial Estate closed in December.

But now it seems the building is to be brought back into full use with the confirmation that Heather Mills has bought the factory to accommodate her growing vegan snack range, Vbites – a decision spurred on by the fact her friend was one of the people who was made redundant when Walkers closed.

Grahame Morris said: “I am delighted at the prospect of food manufacturing returning to Peterlee and the ambition of Heather Mills and the Vbites brand to make our region the Silicon Valley of vegan food production.

“I look forward to production commencing, the new jobs and investment in Peterlee and hope this is just the start towards marketing our region as the home of plant-based vegan food production and healthy lifestyle choices.”

A spokesman for Peterlee Business Park Group said: “We’d heard rumours that this could be happening a little while ago so to have it confirmed is obviously fantastic news.”