THE jobs market in Bridgwater has been given another welcome boost this week with the announcement that Morrisons is expanding its distribution centre.

The supermarket giant will create about 50 local jobs when it opens a new distribution operation in Bridgwater to support the expansion of its ‘M local’ convenience business further into the South-West and South Wales.

The 95,000 sq ft facility will be part of Morrisons’ existing 750,000 sq ft Bridgwater site and an extension of the current produce picking operation there, near to Willow Green, Morrisons’ regional distribution centre.

A spokesman for the firm could not provide an exact figure for the new investment but said it was “sizeable”. He added: “The new operation will ready by September and we hope to advertise jobs locally by the end of summer.”

Bridgwater Mayor Steve Austin said: “This is fantastic news. Anything which creates local jobs will be a benefit to everybody. It just confirms we are on the up in Bridgwater and that employers want to continue to invest in our area.”

Sedgemoor District Council chairman Cllr Peter Downing added: “I am delighted about this news. 
“Morrisons has been extremely well received since setting up the distribution centre. I think it was always their plan to continue their investment in the town. I think they have a local labour agreement, so I’m delighted there will be even more local jobs on offer.”

The existing building will be modified to care for fresh products, which will be delivered to 100 M local convenience stores. It will also support Morrisons’ convenience distribution centre in Feltham during busy periods.

John Passman, head of multi-channel distribution and infrastructure, said: “We already have picking and distribution expertise at Bridgwater and it makes commercial sense to leverage that expertise to support the growth of our convenience business in the region.”

The site will be operated by Morrisons logistics partner, DHL, which already operates the Willow Green regional distribution centre.

The news follows last week’s announcement that a multi-million pound hotel project in Eastover can also begin this year, creating 300 jobs in the town.