Retailer to create up to 3500 Jobs

Tesco Britain's leading retailer will today Tuesday 16th October announce a £200 million development programme for the West Midlands which will create up to 3500 new jobs as part of its UK wide expansion plans.

It is believed to be the biggest ever investment programme by a retailer in the West Midlands.

Speaking at the British Urban Regeneration Association ('BURA') National Conference in Stoke, Tesco UK Regeneration Manager Martin Venning explained "Tesco is under represented across the region and we believe that there is significant scope to bring our retail offer to a wider audience of customers."

"We have identified sites in the Potteries, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton" he added.

The announcement will be a tremendous vote of confidence in the region and will be a massive boost to the West Midlands.

The retailer has earmarked eight sites on brownfield land for new food stores. Tesco believe that all 8 stores could be built within five years if the necessary planning consents are given.

The stores are expected to deliver in excess of £20million annually to local economies in the form of salaries and local charges.

Gary Holz, Senior Divisional Officer for USDAW (the shopworkers' union) in the West Midlands said: "Given the economic uncertainty facing in the region, due to the decline of the traditional industries, we welcome this major commitment by Tesco.

Retail jobs are a vital component of any successful economy and often prove to be the catalyst to other forms of investment."

Tesco has confirmed that they will seek to support the new stores with their innovative Regeneration Partnership experience which is designed to get the long term unemployed back to work.

The scheme has been a considerable success in disadvantaged areas such as east Leeds, Dragonville near Durham and Springburn, Glasgow.

The company already has 15 stores in the region with two planning applications at Stourbridge and Yardley awaiting local planning approval. Schemes at Walsall and Rugeley are the subject of public inquiries.

A sign of Tesco's comgburn, Glasgow.

A sign of Tesco's commitment is that they have assigned a manager to take this forward in the region. Richard Anderson Corporate Affairs Manager for Tesco in the West Midlands will ensure that each scheme offers the best possible fit with its respective community.