‘Regret’ as 100s of jobs leave Weston
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Hundreds of jobs are set to move out of Weston after a supermarket announced it would be relocating one of its regional distribution centres away from the town.
Lidl has operated its main South West delivery centre, a £10million 300,000sqft building just off junction 21 of the M5, for more than a decade but announced this week it was moving its operation to a new site in Bristol.
The supermarket has said it will retain the jobs of all staff who had been employed at the Locking Castle Business Park site, but the move will see several hundred Weston-based jobs relocated out of the town.
More than 30,000 people already commute out of North Somerset to get to work, according to census figures compiled in 2011, a figure which will only be increased by the move to a new base housed in Avonmouth.
North Somerset Council said the announcement was ‘regrettable’ but added it would work hard to ensure the area continued to provide employment after Lidl’s departure.
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The new centre will join an increasing number of supermarkets in the Avonmouth area, and will have double the space of the current site.
No announcement has been made as to how the current West Wick site will be used in future.
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A spokesman for North Somerset Council told the Mercury: “Any loss of employment in the area is regrettable and the council will continue to work with Lidl to ensure that we secure alternative employment uses on the site.
“We are also working with our local partners to bring forward other employment uses into the area, especially to the J21 Enterprise Area alongside the initiatives recently announced to support the town centre regeneration programme, all aimed at boosting the local economy.”
Adrienne Howells, Lidl UK’s head of warehouse expansion, said the move was down to a need to improve the company’s ‘regional infrastructure’ as its popularity continues to rise.
She said: “We are working hard to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place for us to manage increased customer demand.
“We have big ambitions within the South West of England and our proposed new regional distribution centres, both in Bristol and East Devon, will help to fulfil our expansion plans while continuing to service our existing stores in the regions.”