Poundland to create Harlow jobs after Tesco closure

The Pinnacles in Harlow
Image caption Poundland wants to set up a new distribution centre at The Pinnacles in Harlow

Discount retailer Poundland hopes to create up to 650 jobs with a new distribution centre in Harlow.

The announcement has been made in the same week as Tesco confirmed it planned to close its Harlow warehouse, which employs 800 staff.

The Tesco job losses are part of its distribution restructuring, which will operate from centres in Berkshire and London.

Poundland said it would be submitting a planning application in due course.

Ben Wall, Poundland's national portfolio manager, said: "We are preparing to submit a planning application for a 350,000 sq ft (32,516 sq m) distribution centre at The Pinnacles in Harlow, Essex, which could create up to 650 jobs at the peak of its operation.

"Working in partnership with Lynton Developments we are seeking to redevelop the former Pitney Bowes and GlaxoSmithKline sites and replace the outdated buildings with a brand new facility.

"The distribution centre would be a £40m investment for Poundland with the aim for it to be operational by 2014."

A Tesco spokesperson said: "We've been reviewing our distribution network, and have confirmed plans to close some of our current distribution centres and open new ones.

"Colleagues who are affected will be offered jobs at other Tesco sites, including at the two new distribution sites in Reading and Dagenham, where 2,000 jobs will be created."

The Usdaw union national officer Joanne McGuinness said: "This is absolutely devastating news for our members and their families."

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