Tesco opened its new store in Newtownards this Monday (October 3) creating more than 100 new jobs in the borough.
The Tesco Extra store is one of the largest Tescos in Northern Ireland at 64,000 sq ft and more than 300 people will be employed there, with 107 new jobs being created.
Stephen Cochrane, Tesco Stores’ Director said: “We are delighted to be opening one of the largest and most innovative Tesco stores in Northern Ireland, here in Newtownards and to be bringing employment to the area.
“We have been able to bring 200 current Tesco employees with us to Tesco Extra Newtownards and are employing a further 107 new staff. This is in addition to employing over 250 construction workers during the construction of the new store.
“We had a huge amount of interest in the jobs that we have created here,” he added.
Significant measures have been taken to ensure it is environmentally-friendly. The external surface of the Tesco Extra in Newtownards is a timber/steel hybrid frame, including timber cladding which is a 100% sustainable material, and so looks completely different to the usual superstore exterior.
Other characteristics of the store include roof lights which allow natural light to illuminate the store and, when combined with high level windows along the side of the unit, reduce energy consumption. The store’s fridges and freezers will use new, natural refrigeration technology that will not add to global warming as they are cooled with carbon dioxide which is less damaging than traditional fridge gases.
Tesco Extra Newtownards will generate its own electricity using a combined heat and power plant which collects ‘waste’ heat i.e. heat that is generated as a by-product of electricity generation, turning it into energy used to heat space and water.
Strangford MP Jim Shannon said the store opening was a tremendous feat and congratulated all involved.
“When speaking to the Manager of the store Simon McNeil, he made it clear that he wants to enhance Newtownards and draw people to the town and is anxious to meet with the Chamber of Trade to discuss how Tesco and the Town Centre can work together to attract more customers and bring a boost to the local economy.
The manager also told me of the local community representative who is anxious to liaise with Schools, the college and community groups to see how Tesco can help in community life citing facilities that can be used for the local bridge group or the camera club as well as availability of fundraising or informational stands.