Page last updated at 07:01 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 08:01 UK

Elderly-friendly supermarket plan

Tesco store
Tesco has submitted plans for a 60,000sq ft store in Newcastle

Supermarket giant Tesco could be about to open its first UK pensioner-friendly supermarket on Tyneside.

If given the go-ahead, the Newcastle store would feature extra wide aisles, anti-slip flooring and trolleys with locking wheels and built-in chairs.

The firm has submitted plans to build the 60,000sq ft store on the site of the city's general hospital.

The store would be based on the Kaiser supermarket, near Berlin - the first to offer facilities for "silver shoppers".

The supermarket is likely to be a partner deal with Newcastle University and the city's NHS Foundation Trust.

Early stage

Under the plans, the hospital, close to the city centre, would be redeveloped and in its place would be the supermarket and the multi-million pound Institute for Ageing and Health.

Representatives of the elderly community in the north east of England, together with scientists from Newcastle University, travelled to Germany to see how the Kaiser supermarket was set up.

Michael Kissman, a spokesman for Tesco, said plans for the store were still at an early stage.

He said: "All our stores cater for a range of different ages and disabilities and all comply with disability legislation.

"We have said to the Institute that we are neighbours on the site and the two schemes are closely linked and so we are happy to listen to any ideas they may have."

Newcastle City Council's development control committee is expected to hear the planning application later this year.

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