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A new supermarket distribution centre will open near Rainham in June, but not as many of the positions may be filled by local people as first thought.

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The Tesco distribution centre at Beam Reach, near Rainham, was due to offer 700 new jobs, according to early announcements.

But the supermarket giant is in negotiations with its workforce in Harlow – where it is closing another distribution centre, which employs 800 people – and may offer employees there the chance to relocate to Beam Reach.

A spokesman for the chain said that the centre will bring “significant investment to the local economy” and that customers will be able to buy fresher food.

The new centre is due to open in June.

Cllr Michael Armstrong, cabinet member with responsibility for Rainham, said: “The centre will provide a wide range of jobs for local people when it opens in the summer.

“We have worked really hard as part of the Rainham Compass programme to bring this to the borough and I am really pleased that this centre is going to open soon.”

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