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400 jobs on the way

Created on 12/08/2010 @ 16:41


Up to 400 jobs will be created for Welshpool before Christmas with hundreds more set to materialize next year.
The staggering new figure can be revealed today by mywelshpool which has learned that Phase One of the Tesco supermarket development will include other retail giants with more stores  due to be included in a Phase Two development for 2011/12. Work in progress: The Tesco site
A source close to the multi-million pound development on the old Smithfield site has leaked the news that four major names will initially join Tesco, creating a jobs bonanza when they open in time for Christmas.
The news has been welcomed by Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies who hopes it will benefit the town as a whole, including the town centre: “I fully accept that the arrival of a new Tesco supermarket in Welshpool divides opinion, but personally, I've always believed that the overall Tesco development will bring great benefit to the town.
“I also believe that a key measure of the Tesco development's success must be the degree to which the new store, and those who shop within it, link with the existing town centre.  Welshpool needs to draw in the shopping 'spend' that currently leaks over the border into Shropshire.”
Tesco received a lukewarm welcome to Montgomeryshire this year with its Newtown store enduring a public relations nightmare due to traffic problems arising from its location. However, Welshpool planners say they have learned from the mistakes made 14 miles up the road by creating a clear long-term plan for the town.
Work on the proposed one-way system is due to start shortly and should be in place one month prior to the store’s opening. The town is also undergoing a major signage project.
“We do not want to see the problems endured by Newtown repeated here in Welshpool,” said town clerk Robert Robinson. “And we don’t want the people of Welshpool to face unnecessary traffic problems while this site is being developed.”
The new Tesco store is set to incorporate a big dry goods section containing DVDs and CDs after a public consultation revealed it was the wish from the local population.
“One of the overwhelming points that came from the public consultation was that local people wanted to see ‘an all singing and all dancing’ store so Tesco has responded,” he said.
While the new development will create well-needed jobs for the area, some town centre businesses fear for their futures. The Town Council has responded by proposing a street market for the one-way system in the hope that Tesco customers will be tempted into town.
But local businessman Paul Alexander, from Alexanders, is not so sure: “Many of us feel that we’re fighting a losing battle trying to keep people shopping within the town centre,” he said. “Obviously the new Tesco will create jobs, but I feel it will lead more customers away from an already quiet town centre.”
Tesco is expected to open its doors for business in November.
To have your say, visit the home page poll.
COMING SUNDAY: Find out what town centre businesses think of the Tesco development
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