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NEARLY 1,000 people have applied for just 75 jobs available at a new supermarket.

As previously reported, Waitrose announced last year that it was taking over the existing Co-op store in Locks Heath Shopping Village, and promised that it would come with an employment boost.

Jobs were first advertised at the end of December and bosses received a flood of enquiries before the window for applications closed last week.

More than 900 people sent in their CVs for just 75 posts.

The retail giant worked with Jobcentre Plus to put forward candidates, including unemployed people, for full-time and part-time positions across all departments.

The interview process will start within the next week, with all new employees becoming “partners” in the business. This entitles them to shopping and leisure discounts, leisure and learning subsidies and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus.

Bosses hope the store will be open in March.

Jo Williamson, branch manager at the new Waitrose in Locks Heath, said: “We have had a phenomenal response to our recruitment drive and are really encouraged by the calibre of applications we’ve received. We are grateful that so many people are eager to work for our business and look forward to a successful future at the Locks Heath store.”

Waitrose announced that it will be opening the new branch after acquiring the Co-op store in the Locks Heath Shopping Village in November 2013.

A total of 200 ‘partners’ will be employed by Waitrose Locks Heath, including 120 former Co-op employees.

The news comes after multi-million-pound plans were unveiled to inject new life into the 1980s Locks Heath district centre.

The bold vision includes a leisure complex with a 25-metre swimming pool, a 71,000 sq ft Morrisons supermarket, new restaurants and high street shops in a move that could create 300 jobs.

Last year more than 1,000 posts were created with the completion of nearby Whiteley Shopping Centre.