ALL building work has now been completed at the new Tesco store in Gosport with staff preparing for its grand opening next week.
Now store manager Nigel Perman and his team are stocking the superstore in Grange Road, Rowner, Gosport, ahead of its opening to shoppers next Thursday.
He received the keys from the contracting manager, Stephen Hatch from McLaren Construction, signalling the end of construction.
Mr Perman said: ‘We are delighted that as a team we are able to take the next step and make all the finishing touches to ensure that the store is ready to welcome the first customers.
‘We will work hard over the coming days and weeks to stock the store with a wide range of fresh produce and cupboard staples.
‘We will also be including a hot chicken counter and an in-store bakery preparing fresh goods every day.’
The store is part of the multi-million pound regeneration of Rowner, which will see four stages of development over eight years.
Phase three, which will see 175 new homes in the area, has already started.
As previously reported, the supermarket giant received 4,300 applications for around 150 jobs.
Bosses interviewed 826 applicants including 55 long-term unemployed who were guaranteed an interview.
From this, 672 of them were invited to do work samples in Fareham and Portsmouth.
Mr Perman added: ‘Our new colleagues have been through a comprehensive recruitment process including two interviews, and work sampling at the nearby Fareham store.
‘I am confident that as a team we will deliver the best possible customer service, great value, range and convenience for the Gosport community.’
At 10am on opening day Mr Perman and his team will donate £1,000 to a local charity, among other activities on the day.
Visitors can also try to win £500 along with enjoying free cake and champagne to mark the occasion.
Councillor Tony Jessop is the member for Grange ward at Gosport’s council and said he is delighted about the opening.
That is despite its car park being built on Darwin Way – the site of his former home.
He said: ‘I absolutely welcome Tesco opening up a store and providing the extra employment to the area.
‘I also welcome the fact that we know they’ve taken on about 150 staff who are from the Gosport area.
‘Even though it’s been built and the car park’s on my old house, I still welcome that as part of the regeneration of Grange in general.’