Morrisons are still in the space race, the Bradford-based firm has not finished making sure that customers have a Morrisons store within reach, throughout the country. Last week the firm announced an agreement with Ocado to speed it's entry into the home delivery business for Morrisons online.

Today, NewRiver Retail announced that it has signed a pre-lease agreement for a 71,000 sq ft store over 25 years with Morrisons at its Locks Heath Shopping Centre in Fareham, Hampshire.

NewRiver will now seek planning consent and to acquire the land needed for the extension to it's property.

Allan Lockhart, Property Director at NewRiver said: "NewRiver is delighted to have signed this important agreement with a Morrisons which will anchor the enlarged Locks Heath Shopping Centre. We are now planning to begin the process of presenting our masterplan for the Centre to the local authority. The agreement is a significant endorsement by a leading UK food retailer and marks a positive step forward in the progression of our enhancement plans for the Shopping Centre."

In Romford Essex, Morrisons has agreed a land swap with the London Borough of Havering, to build a  new ice-rink and swimming pool leisure centre on Western Road in Romford in return for the site of the present Council-owned ice rink, which closed last month.

Earlier this month the Council has made a resolution to grant permission for the proposed mixed-use development of an 81,000 sq ft Morrisons superstore with extensive car-parking facilities, a petrol station and 71 residential units on Rom Valley Way.

The decision will now be referred to the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State.

If planning consent is granted for both the leisure centre and the Morrisons development, it is expected that both the new Morrisons and leisure centre will open in 2015.