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Work bonanza on horizon as developments are set to open
BOOMTIME Weymouth and Dorchester is facing a massive jobs bonanza.
And the surge could, in theory, provide work for every one of the area’s unemployed.
More than 1,500 jobs are being created over the coming months as new developments take shape in south and west Dorset – the same number currently out of work.
They include the latest phase of the Brewery Square development in Dorchester which is expected to be ready by next spring, creating 500 jobs.
The Weymouth Gateway site at Mount Pleasant, which is steadily rising, will provide for more than 1,000 jobs although some of these are safeguarded posts for New Look employees.
There is also expected to be a major jobs boost at the £14 million Chickerell Link Park, an extension of the Granby Industrial Estate. The Echo revealed yesterday how national part supplier Screwfix will be the first firm to open there in the new year.
And the tourism industry is hoping for a major boost following the worldwide coverage of the area during the Olympics when the borough successfully hosted the sailing events.
A record number of cruise ships have confirmed they will be docking at Portland Port next year carrying 20,000 passengers.
Latest figures show there are 1,540 people out of work in Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset which means the area’s new developments could provide work for every jobseeker.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s economic development spokesman Ian Munro-Price said: “It’s fantastic news that all these jobs are coming to the area.
“It’s sad to see any unemployment figures but the latest statistics I saw showed that the amount of people out of work had actually fallen so it’s all good news.
“I would hope that those firms coming to the area will provide appropriate training so people out of work will be given the skills to do the job.”
Mr Munro-Price cited a number of success stories in the travel to work area which he said were aiding the region’s growth including the Weymouth Gateway, Portland Port and Osprey Quay.
“There’s more workspace being provided and a lot of jobs coming up, it’s great news,” he added.
South Dorset MP Richard Drax said: “The Weymouth Gateway site has always had huge potential and it’s most welcome news to see a supermarket coming as well as other retail outlets.
“The fact that jobs are being created follows on the heels of a very successful sailing Olympics and it will help South Dorset along during what are still pretty austere times.”
Mr Drax added: “It would be a fantastic achievement if we could have no people at all out of work but the fact is sadly that some of those 1,540 will not qualify for those jobs. But I urge people out of work to race to the Gateway site to apply for any jobs that will help them get their foot on the ladder.”
Councillor Ian Bruce, the borough’s spokesman for culture and tourism, said plans were underway for the future of tourism following the Olympics exposure.
He said: “We really are now number one on the destination map for seaside and sailing holidays or a day trip.
“The council is meeting with different tourism groups so the trade can benefit from the Games.
“What we can do is to renew our offers to the public to match what they are looking for.”