New Blackpool store creates 20 jobs

Children from Busy Bees help Derek Spence, centre left, manager Ben Shrewsbury, centre right, and staff open the new Morrisons M in Whitegate Drive.

Children from Busy Bees help Derek Spence, centre left, manager Ben Shrewsbury, centre right, and staff open the new Morrisons M in Whitegate Drive.

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Twenty jobs have been created with the opening of a new local supermarket in Blackpool.

Morrisons has opened one of its new Morrisons M stores on Whitegate Drive.

It has taken over the former Blockbuster video rental premises which closed after its parent company went into administration.

But now youngsters from the local Busy Bees Pre School and Community Officer from Blackpool FC, Derek Spence, have officially opened the store.

One of the lucky 20 to get a job is Catherine Iredale, 22, of Poulton, who had spent five months unemployed after graduating from the University of Manchester.

Catherine said: “It was no fun being without money throughout the summer so Morrisons have saved my life.

“I applied for a team member job so when I was offered a team leader role I was delighted – a real boost. I had applied for 200 jobs and apart from this only had one call back. I never considered a career in supermarkets but the opportunities here are great you can progress really quickly.

“I am really enjoying it, the team I work with are a great bunch of people and we get on really well.”

Store manager, Ben Shrewsbury wanted to involve the local community in the grand opening and children at the nursery were keen to help out.

He said: “Blackpool is a great place so we’re all very excited to be opening a store here and creating 20 jobs for local people.

“As a team we really want to be part of the community – we already have a community noticeboard in place for local people to use to promote events, which is a great start.

“I had asked Derek Spence to come along from the football club and we were delighted he could help open the store.”

A company spokesman said: “The supermarket believes it has spotted a gap in the market for a convenience store that offers more fresh food – as opposed to just tins and toiletries – to enable customers to cook a meal from scratch or buy a high quality ready meal.

Morrisons had lagged behind rivals when it came to smaller local stores but has opened 62 in the past seven months at a rate of two to six a week.

The Whitegate Drive site was on of 49 Blockbuster stores taken over by the supermarket.

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