Jobs bonanza – hundreds to be created

Plans to build an Aldi store on Batley Road, Wakefield, have been approved.
Plans to build an Aldi store on Batley Road, Wakefield, have been approved.

Hundreds of jobs will be created in Wakefield over the next two-and-a-half years.

Aldi will create more than 200 jobs after it was granted planning permission to build a store on Batley Road, in Alverthorpe.

And a £1.5m business support scheme backed by the European Union will provide a further 140 jobs.

New jobs are also planned at the Chasley Hotel, on Queen Street, which will be refurbished as part of a £6.5m deal.

Aldi was granted planning permission last week to demolish a former respite care home, between Larkspur Way and Conway Road. and build a new store to open next year.

Property director Mark Taylor said the multi-million pound development would create 200 construction jobs and 30 permanent local jobs.”

Wakefield Council bosses agreed this week to accept European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) of £755,000 to be spent on encouraging business start-ups and supporting existing businesses.

And the scheme will be boosted by funding from the public and private sectors.

It would work by attracting investment, providing advice and creating the right sorts of jobs to match the skills of local people.

And more than a third of the cash would be spent on supporting existing businesses.

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said the scheme would support 75 existing businesses, eight social enterprises and generate an extra £1m for the economy by September 2015.

He said: “The funding is great news and reinforces our ongoing commitment to boosting our local economy, skilling up the district and helping residents into much-needed employment.

“This project will look to attract entrepreneurs and inward investment to create and grow businesses, providing quality employment for local people.”

Community interest company RCP21, South Elmsall Town Council, South Kirkby and Moorthorpe Town Council and the council itself have helped to fund the project, called the Wakefield Business Support Programme. It was developed following a consultation on the council’s Jobs and Growth Plan last year.

The Chasley Hotel will become a Holiday Inn Express, in an upgrade project by owners Cairn Hotel Group.

And Normanton-based Keats Engineering has also taken on 10 new staff after securing a £75,000 loan from Finance Yorkshire. The firm, based at Astoria Way, has doubled its workforce and is expanding into overseas markets.