Ipswich: Tesco flooded with 270 applications for 10 jobs at new Express store opening at site of former Heathlands Pub

The Heathlands is being converted into a Tesco Express.

The Heathlands is being converted into a Tesco Express. - Credit: Archant

Supermarket giant Tesco has had 27 applications for every job it is creating at its new Express store that has been built on the site of the Heathlands pub on Foxhall Road.

A total of 10 jobs are being created, but the company has had 270 applications. One of those who has been successful is former Heathlands landlady April Clarke who will be joining the staff when the new store opens its doors on November 5.

Meanwhile Tesco is expected to create about 20 full and part-time jobs when it opens its new Norwich Road Express store on the site of the former Emperor pub on December 3 but it has not yet completed the recruitment process and the number of applicants for its jobs has not been calculated.

There was more good news on the jobs front as scaffolding company Brisko announced it was creating 100 jobs as it moved to a new site in Sproughton Road, Ipswich.

The closure of both the Heathlands and the Emperor attracted considerable opposition earlier this year – the changes were approved by Ipswich council despite local opposition.

Foxhall Road store manager Chris Shadbolt said: “I was thrilled by the response we received to our recruitment drive. There were so many great applicants which made the decision very tough when it came to selecting the successful ten.”

The flood of applications to Tesco is not new – when Waitrose opened at Futura Park last November there were more than 1,200 applications for its 250 jobs.

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Ipswich MP Ben Gummer felt the opening was good news: “I am very glad that some new jobs are coming to our town. Tesco is a respected employer with a good relationship with (shopworkers’ union) USDAW.”

He felt the number of applications for each job was no surprise: “There are always a large number of applicants for high-quality retail work so this is no surprise. We must not overlook the fact that there are many more jobs available than when I was elected – and we should celebrate that fact.”

However his Labour opponent in the next general election, David Ellesmere, felt the number of applications showed the problems the country still faced.

He said about the large number of job applicants: “This is a reality check on the headline statistics of falling unemployment. We still have too many people without jobs and too many people who are in part-time jobs who want full time work.”

While Tesco is opening two new small stores over the next six weeks, one of the largest superstores in the town is closed for a week for a re-fit.

Sainsbury’s Hadleigh Road store is closed until next Wednesday while it undergoes a major refit.

The store will have new checkouts, and as well as internal changes there is also major work being carried out on the car park and on the entrance to the site.