TYNEDALE'S first McDonalds opens in Prudhoe today (Wednesday, July 21) - just in time for lunch.

The 24-hour restaurant has created more than 50 permanent full and part time jobs to benefit the local community and opened following significant investment from local franchisee Nigel Mushens.

With the addition of this restaurant, Nigel will now employ over 500 people and own and operate six restaurants across the North East.

He said: “My team and I are excited to be safely opening a brand new McDonald’s restaurant in Prudhoe.

"It’s fantastic to be able to offer more jobs within the local area with great training opportunities for everyone.

"We’re looking forward to seeing our customers enjoy our services on offer, including McDelivery.

"We’d also like to thank our customers in advance for their support and patience as we navigate and adapt to evolving restrictions and different ways of working.”

The development has been welcomed by County Councillor Gordon Stewart who represents Prudhoe South. He said: "I am delighted to welcome another well known brand into the town. 

"Many new full and part time employment opportunities have been made available 

"I have been working closely with senior management at the company, the site developer and the DWP."

In addition to the usual fries and burgers, customers at the Tyneview Retail Park restaurant can expect to see free to use tablets, mobile phone charging points and interactive magic tables.

A number of safety measures will be in place such as table service and app ordering, which will be revised and adapted regularly.

It opens at 11am and wil operate 24 hours a day.

The restaurant opening comes a week after controversial to open a branch of McDonalds in Hexham were approved.

On July 13 members of the Tynedale Local Area Council voted to approve plans to create the restaurant and drive-thru at the former bunker site, at Alemouth Road.

It will have enough space for around 110 customers, including an outdoor ‘patio’ area.

Brains behind the scheme have also agreed to ensure designs ‘better respond to the heritage context of the development’, with timber cladding replacing the ‘relatively standard’ designs usually seen at McDonald’s branches.

The Hexham branch is expected to create up to 35 full time roles, as well as a further 30 part-time positions.

Work is underway at the bunker site, at Alemouth Road, to create 250 car parking spaces, which will stand alongside a 69-bedroom Travelodge hotel and Lidl store.

11 councillors voted to approve the plans, with one abstention from Coun. Nick Morphet.

Plans to open a branch in Hexham have proved controversial with more than 100 people lodging comments on the council's planning portal.

Residents voiced concerns over traffic, litter, children's health and the impact on local independent businesses.