WORK has begun on a new phase of the Rowner regeneration project – with a Tesco store set to create hundreds of jobs.
An eight-year project is transforming the area in Gosport.
Residents began moving into their new homes last year as the first phase, known as Alver village, was completed.
Now, work has started on the second phase including apartments, a residential tower, the Tesco store and smaller retail units.
The supermarket will create 200 jobs.
Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘It’s a milestone.
‘Tesco coming in shows the confidence it has with the regeneration process.
‘It wouldn’t come in if it didn’t think it was financially viable.
‘Whilst the jobs are available for everyone, they will be taking on quite a few youngsters as well.
‘It will help the 18 to 24-year-olds who are desperate to find work.
‘That’s important for people living in that area.
‘The best people to have are those that live there on the site itself and can walk to work.’
Hazel Warwick, deputy chief executive for First Wessex housing association, which is part of the Rowner Renewal Partnership, said: ‘These are truly exciting times for Rowner.
‘We’re witnessing something very special in its transformation.
‘We’re all absolutely delighted at the interest shown across the region for our new homes.
‘This year is an important milestone as the partnership will be able to deliver its promise of many new jobs to the area not just new homes.’
The Tesco store will open in spring next year.
Spokesman for Tesco Simon Petar said: ‘Together with the local Job Centre Plus, we are delighted that we will be offering employment opportunities to the people of Rowner and the surrounding areas.’
The Rowner Renewal project is expected to be completed by 2017.