Supermarket Waitrose 'to create 600 jobs' in Lancashire

Waitrose shop front
Image caption Waitrose plans to double its number of stores in the North

Supermarket chain Waitrose has announced plans to create up to 600 jobs at a new distribution centre in Lancashire.

The company said it hoped to recruit drivers, warehouse operatives and other staff at the centre in Chorley.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Chorley Borough Council in April.

The centre is part of a major plan by Waitrose to expand in the north of England and Scotland.

A spokesman claimed that the new centre would allow the supermarket to double its number of stores in the North over the next five years.

Supply chain director David Jones said: "This new regional distribution centre will provide a vital platform for future expansion and unlock significant opportunities for us to open more shops in the north of England and Scotland."

Subject to planning permission, the supermarket chain said it had reached an agreement to develop and lease the 30-acre brownfield site formerly occupied by BAE Systems.

If planning consent is granted, Waitrose said the site would receive investment totalling nearly £35m.

Recruitment could begin in spring 2012 with the site opening by the autumn.

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