The following article was written by Reporter Sukran Sahin, and was published in the Barking and Dagenham Post. You can view the original version here:

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New distribution centre to open in August

Jon Cruddas hopes plans will bring much needed employment to the area

Hundreds of new jobs are up for grabs for people in Barking and Dagenham at a new Tesco depot south of the A13 near Dagenham. The supermarket company will begin its search for workers this week in the hope of filling more than 900 positions at the food distribution centre at its Beam Reach site.

The news has brought relief to the borough which is coping with rising levels of unemployment. Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said: "I have been in discussions with Tesco for about a year and half on their plans for this site.

"It means up to 1,200 jobs and will be opening this year. The key is to ensure that it is jobs for local people and these discussions are still going on to ensure maximum benefits in the community. Given the current economic climate this is one of the biggest job generation sites across London. Alongside the work we are doing at Dagenham East at the old May and Baker site we are hopefully looking at thousands of local jobs in the next year or two for Barking and Dagenham residents."

The development will also revitalise land which has been lying empty for several years. It is part of the former Dagenham Ford works which was earmarked for the construction of a 1,500- inmate prison three years ago but was dropped after objections from local campaigners.

Developers Spen Hill were later appointed to build a new 550,000 square foot distribution and processing centre for supermarket giant Tesco on 35.2 acres of land. Planning permission was granted by the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation in February 2011 and is due to be completed in August. As part of the second phase of the development, improvements to nature reserve and further landscaping will be added to warehousing and other business uses.

A Tesco spokesman said: "We are in the process of building the depot and look forward to it opening in due course."

Although the development falls under the borough of Havering, Barking and Dagenham will benefit. A council spokesman said: "This proposal will generate a significant number of jobs and the recruitment process will be undertaken across both boroughs."

Recruitment sessions will be held at Rainham Library today at 10am, 11am and midday, followed by more sessions at the same times at Rainham Library on March 30. Call 01708 433 393 for more information. Olympic celebrations