A TIMBER specialist has helped the new £40m Tesco Extra store in Widnes blend into the environment in an innovative way.

Silva Timber, one of the UK’s leading importer of speciality timber products, supplied more than 1,100 square metres of western red cedar for the 24-hour superstore in Lugsdale Road.

Gordon White & Hood architects used the material extensively on three elevations in to create a landmark which provides a gateway feature to this prominent location.

Architect Jon Sayers said: "In order to create an impact, we needed material that would be robust, able to withstand the elements, and provide natural beauty and warmth that would reflect and provide an extension of the surrounding environment.”

The timber came from the coastal region of British Columbia.

The glass-fronted store, constructed on stilts, opened in April, creating almost 500 new jobs.

Nick Taylor, managing director of Silva Timber, said: “The combination of timber and glass creates elegant, clean lines that emphasise the contemporary design and give the building a light and fresh feel.”