Job hope with Kingsley Village Next deal
RETAIL giant Next plans to open a new store at Kingsley Village shopping centre near Newquay creating up to 80 new jobs, the Cornish Guardian has learnt.
The company is about to lodge a detailed planning application that would see a clothing and homewares shop replace the existing Food Hall, boosting its capacity by 4,000 square feet with an extra floor.
Kingsley director Abe Simpson and project manager John Marshall gave a presentation to St Enoder Parish Council, which agreed to back the proposals in principle.
They confirmed that between 50 and 80 jobs would be made available, and efforts would be made to ensure current employees of the Food Hall would be moved into other positions on the site.
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It was suggested up to 15 posts could be made redundant, although Mr Simpson has told this paper he is confident no jobs will be lost.
He also sought to address concerns that the shopping centre would be without a food store, reminding people plans had already been approved for a 19,000sq ft outlet in which major supermarkets had expressed "huge interest".
Mr Simpson said: "We were approached by Next 6 to 12 months ago, we've been working on a deal ever since and have just come to an agreement. It's still commercially quite sensitive."
Next could be open at the Fraddon site by Easter but Mr Simpson said a deal with a supermarket was dependent on the signing of a contract and securing a 'stopping-up order' to close a road.
Mr Simpson said local youngsters should be inspired by Next boss Simon Wolfson, who started at the bottom with the business and rose to become the youngest chief executive of a FTSE 100 company at only 33.
"It's a really good opportunity for young people in the local area," he said. "It provides young people in the Newquay, Fraddon and Indian Queens area, who may not have many qualifications, with the opportunity to work upwards from the shop-floor level as he did."
Michael Hopkins, chairman of St Enoder Parish Council, said he could not comment in detail until a full application was submitted, but added: "Any increase in employment for people is always welcome.
"We'll wait and see if it translates into the number of jobs they say. It'll also be interesting to see how many full-time and part-time jobs there are. If it brings extra business to the parish and doesn't upset the neighbours too much then I'm in favour."
A Next spokesman confirmed that plans had been submitted on Tuesday for a 12,000sq ft store featuring the full range of Next products.