Poundland jobs for local workers

An artist's impression of the new Poundland store set to open in Wigan
An artist's impression of the new Poundland store set to open in Wigan
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HUNDREDS of jobs created at a new distribution centre will be earmarked for Wigan residents as part of an agreement tabled by the town hall.

Council bosses are planning a legally binding pledge with Poundland to ensure borough workers land the new roles at its vast site in Bryn.

This opportunity would create 650 new jobs with the potential for further growth up to 800 and generate substantial new business rates for the council

To hold its side of the bargain, the council will make sure potential staff will have the “correct skill-sets to obtain employment.”

The move is hoped to provide reassurance that the jobs boost will remain in the local area.

Officers revealed to the Wigan Observer last week that an incentive package had been offered to the retail firm to secure the move to the borough in the face of stiff competition from other areas.

And although full details of the package are being closely guarded, minutes from a recent Confident Places Scrutiny Committee meeting have provided a glimpse.

They state that council deputy chief executive Paul McKevitt “explained that the financial incentive offered by the council would be to assist the business with initial capital investment.”

The funding will be paid in stages over three years and will support the business in setting up the distribution centre, the minutes add.

On the subject of jobs, committee members were informed the “legal agreement which would be drawn up would include a requirement to ensure that employment opportunities were offered to Wigan residents.”

Poundland’s site will be on the former location of the fire-destroyed Georgia Pacific building on the South Lancs Industrial Estate.

Town hall bosses hailed the deal as showing Wigan as a “major player” and planning approval was fast-tracked despite traffic and congestion concerns from community groups.

Announcing the deal, deputy leader Coun David Molyneux said: “We are looking forward to a successful working relationship with Poundland that will benefit the borough as a whole for many years.”

The minutes also state: “This opportunity would create 650 new jobs with the potential for further growth up to 800 and generate substantial new business rates for the council.”