EIGHT hundred applications have flooded in for 100 jobs at the new Tesco superstore on Portland.

Manager Eddie Garlick of the store in Park Road, Easton described the response as ‘overwhelming.’ The Portland Tesco store is set to open its doors to the public next Monday.

Mr Garlick received the keys to the new building from Eaun Dunlop of Britannia Construction in an official handover.

The key handover signified that the structural work to the store on Park Road, Easton is complete and staff have started stocking the shelves ahead of the countdown to the official opening.

Around 800 applications flooded in for 100 jobs at the new superstore, of which 70 are new full and part time jobs and 30 have gone internally to existing Tesco employees.

Rates of pay start at £6.47 an hour.

Tesco worked with the Weymouth-based Job Centre Plus to recruit staff from the local area and a total of 35 jobs went to the long-term unemployed.

With the recruitment process now finished, Mr Garlick described the 800 applications as ‘overwhelming’.

He said: “It’s great that in this time of economic uncertainty we are able to create jobs and help get people back into work.

“The quality of applicants was fantastic and I am really pleased with my new team and I’m looking forward to working with my staff.

“We are currently preparing for the launch of the new store on Monday, February 21 and look forward to playing an active role in the local community.

“All new recruits are currently on their company induction, and will then go on a basic training programme before being given training specific to their department.”

He added: “We are all really excited and can’t wait for opening day.

“We hope the residents of Easton and the surrounding areas will be very happy with their new store.

“My staff and I are looking forward to welcoming our customers into the store and we hope that Tesco will become a key part of the local community.”

Building work for the new store, which is the first phase of a development by Chelverton Deeley Freed, was completed in October but the store was left empty for four months due to a highways wrangle with the opening delayed until county council traffic regulation orders could be signed off.

The new store will offer customers ranges including, Value, Free From, Healthy Living and Tesco Finest, a selection of frozen food, fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy produce, as well as beers, wines and spirits and an extensive non-food ranges, including electrical, entertainment, clothing and health and beauty essentials. After the launch, on Monday, February 21, the store will be open from 7am until 11pm every Monday to Saturday.

The store will be open on Sundays from 10am until 4pm.