Story & photo: Douglas Johnson
Building work has started on the site of the new Tesco at Savile Street.
Diggers and bulldozers are out in force, preparing the groundworks for the new store. Tesco now says the store is due to open on 21st November 2011, presumably to catch the rush before next Christmas. The separate retail shops, reserved for other traders, are due to open at the same time although the office blocks will be delayed.
Tesco plans to recruit staff from the local area (within 3 miles radius of the store) to fill about 50% of the new posts and will aim to engage long-term unemployed in the area through its Job Guarantee Scheme. Their spokesman said they would start leafleting the area in the summer to advertise an open day. From there they will offer pre-interview training in interview techniques with the aim of helping possible job applicants present themselves well.
Those selected at interviews will start their employment with 6 weeks of paid training. This will be done in partnership with the jobcentre and education providers and may lead to NVQ qualifications. However, Tesco’s promise to work with Burngreave New Deal may fall flat since the New Deal programme ends in March 2011.
More controversially, Tesco recently advertised for a pharmacy manager and pharmacist for the new store at salaries of over £40,000. There is also to be an optician’s department. However, specific planning restrictions prevent Tesco from opening a pharmacy or post office because of the damage it would do to established local businesses – such as the Wicker Pharmacy and Lloyds on Ellesmere Road.
At present, there appears to be conflicting views. Tesco’s spokesman confirmed “yes, there will be a pharmacy”. Planning officers, however, have apparently had confirmation that it was a mistake and Tesco have removed the advert from their website.