HARTLEPOOL looks set for a much-needed jobs boost after a leading household linen company announced plans to open a new store in town.
Dunelm Mill, which sells homeware, is setting up home in the former Focus store, at the High Point retail park, off Marina Way.
The Mail understands that around 40 jobs are to be created with the opening of the store.
The news comes after the town was bolstered by an economic boost when The Range homeware store opened at the town’s Tees Bay retail park in August, bringing with it around 150 jobs.
Town leaders say the move shows confidence in big names setting up home in town and that hopefully more will follow.
Dunelm Mill, which sells bedding, towels, fabrics, curtains, furniture, kitchenware and is the largest specialist retailer of household textiles and linen in the UK, is advertising for various positions.
These include assistant manager, deputy manager, cash office administrator, coffee shop sales assistant, fabric manager, store manager, warehouse assistant and part-time and weekend sales assistants.
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond has welcomed the news.
He said: “I think there have been rumours about Dunelm Mill coming to Hartlepool for a number of years now so I am delighted that it’s finally happening and quickly on the back of The Range opening up recently as well.
“It shows a real confidence in some quite big chains investing in Hartlepool.
“I think it sends out a real strong message to the market that Hartlepool is a good place to come and do business and they will certainly be made very welcome while they are here.”
The news of Dunelm Mill’s arrival in town comes after the Hartlepool Mail launched its Work in Progress campaign to highlight the plight of the unemployed.
Latest figures show that Hartlepool has the third highest rate in England for the number of jobseekers for each Jobcentre vacancy, with an average of 15.7 people chasing each of the 283 jobs available.
Government figures for August show that 4,456 people in the town claimed the benefit compared to 4,472 in July.
No-one from Dunelm Mills was available to comment on the firm’s plans to move to Hartlepool.