Tesco move could bring jobs to DIRFT

HUNDREDS of new jobs will soon be created at DIRFT after Tesco announced plans to move its national distribution centre to the area.

The supermarket chain will be opening the new site in the summer which will be 60 per cent bigger than the current site at Fenny Lock based in Milton Keynes. The move, announced on Tuesday, will enable Tesco to transport more goods by rail instead of road.

There are 764 Tesco staff at the current site as well as around 100 people employed by Eddie Stobart. Tesco has said all of its workers will be offered the chance to take a job at the new site 36 miles away.

The supermarket giant started formal discussions yesterday (Wednesday) with staff and unions about what options are available.

The news has been welcomed by one of the district councillors who said it would provide a boost for the area.

Economic, regeneration and employment portfolio holder for Daventry District Council, Chris Over, said: “It is excellent news that these jobs will be coming here.

“This is a very critical period in the labour market and so bringing these jobs will help provide a welcome boost to the local economy.

“It is likely to make a big difference, especially as these are very tough times.”

The Udsaw union, which represents the workers at the Milton Keynes site, said it will try to safeguard its members’ jobs at the new centre.

Joanna McGuiness, Udsaw national officer, said: “Our number one priority will be to save jobs and we will be trying to secure as many opportunities as possible at the new depot near Daventry and at other Tesco sites in the area.”

The union said there will be a reduction in activity from June with the final closure due in September.

The corporate affairs manager for Tesco, Juliette Bishop, said: “The site at Fenny Lock is now over 20 years old and can no longer provide the space needed to hold the range and volume of products needed to supply our stores for the future.

“This new modern facility will allow us to greatly enhance the service to our stores and customers across the country.

“It also offers on-site rail freight facilities which can handle up to 12 trains everyday helping us to further reduce freight travelling by road.”