December 19, 2019 @ 12:41 by Steven Hugill
A global online retailer says it will create more than 1000 North East jobs after confirming plans for a base in the region.
Amazon is opening a depot – known as a fulfilment centre – in Darlington to pick, pack and ship customer orders.
Bosses say they will begin hiring workers early next year, with roles on offer including engineers, HR and IT professionals, operations managers, and health and safety and finance specialists.
The hub will be Amazon’s first fulfilment centre in the North East, with confirmation of its opening ending long-running speculation around the operator’s arrival in the town.
“We are excited to start the new year with a recruitment drive for 1000 new permanent roles in Darlington, with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one,” said Stefano Perego, Amazon’s vice president of UK customer fulfilment.
“We are delighted to expand our operations in the North East with this new team playing a crucial role in delivering a first-rate level of service for our customers.”
Stefano added workers will be complemented by robots, which will slide under a tower of shelves where products are stowed and help lift and move stock.
Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, said he was delighted to see Amazon commit to the town.
He said: “I welcome any new employer to Darlington, but in the first week as MP for our town this is truly brilliant news, which deserves to be celebrated.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen concurred, saying Amazon’s arrival represents a significant coup.
He said: “My number one priority is always attracting the businesses and investment to the Tees Valley that will create the good quality well-paid jobs we all want to see come to our region and they don’t come much bigger than Amazon.
“Jobs are already open for application in HR, IT, finance, operations and engineering – just the sort of high-quality professional roles we want to see for the talented people in our area.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard with (Darlington Borough Council leader) Heather Scott and everyone at the council, and I am excited this day has finally come.
“It is another huge vote of confidence in our region.”
Councillor Scott added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Amazon to Darlington.
“There has been a great deal of interest in the site as building work has progressed, so it’s great to get this announcement just before Christmas.
“The jobs, investment and ongoing economic benefits this development will bring can only be a good thing for Darlington.
“I am sure this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful working relationship between Amazon and Darlington.”
Amazon opened a delivery station in Washington, Wearside, in 2015, which it says created 90 permanent jobs and works with independent delivery companies and hundreds of drivers.