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26 February 2013, 06:00 | Updated: 26 February 2013, 09:28
A new warehouse in Reading that is set to create more than 1,000 jobs will open in May.
Tesco says it is going to start recruiting 1,150 new workers this week.
Some of the posts will go to staff members made redundant from a similar distribution centre in Essex, which the supermarket announced it was closing this week with the loss of 800 jobs.
Heart’s also found out the 900,000 sq ft distribution centre will have 85 jobs earmarked for the long-term unemployed.
Those positions will be made available through a “regeneration partnership” with Reading Borough Council and Job Centre Plus.
The supermarket says the new centre will mean it can reduce carbon emissions by 10 tonnes per week by cutting down on delivery mileage.
A spokesperson said: “As part of a strategic review of our distribution network, we are delighted to confirm that our new Tesco grocery distribution centre will open in Reading this May.
“This is a significant investment in the local economy and will create hundreds of jobs for local people, including some specifically for the long term unemployed.
“Our customers in Reading, and across the South East, will benefit from improved availability of grocery products in their local stores and, by bringing thousands of products closer to stores, we are also able to reduce the carbon emissions from our distribution network.”
MP for Reading West Alok Sharma said: “I have had discussions with Tesco and its advisers about their plans since 2011 and so I am really pleased that we now have confirmation of these local jobs which range from management to warehouse roles. This is another boost for the Reading economy, which is an economic powerhouse in the region, and speaking with some of my constituents over the weekend I know there has been a lot of expectation around Tesco’s jobs plans at this location.”
“Just a few months ago I welcomed telecoms company Huawei’s plans to move to Green Park and create hundreds of new jobs in the area and this again reinforced the fact that Reading is a magnet for businesses.”
Reading East MP Rob Wilson said: “This is terrific news for Reading and is a vote of confidence in the local Reading economy. It looks like around 700 of these positions are new jobs and I’m delighted that 85 are guaranteed for long-term unemployed people. Tesco has attended my Jobs Fair on a regular basis and I have no doubt it will have jobs to offer at our next one on 25th April. I understand that there could be more good news for Reading on the jobs front in the not too distant future.”