A MULTIMILLION-pound scheme in Southampton is set to create nearly 2,500 part-time jobs – and bosses behind the project have pledged that they will all go to local people.

As part of the £70 million WestQuay Watermark development in the city, a charter has been signed that will help thousands of jobseekers in the county.

Developer Hammerson revealed that the job opportunities will include 1,590 in construction and 805 in the complex.

As previously reported, the scheme will also create 500 full-time jobs in the complex, and another 500 construction jobs will be created over the next two years.

To ensure people in the area benefit from the development, a special charter has been signed by all major stakeholders in the project to create long-lasting employment and training opportunities for jobseekers in the city.

These include Hammerson, Sir Robert McAlpine, Southampton City Council, Jobcentre Plus, People First and the Regional Growth Fund.

It pledges to “target employment opportunities within local communities”, which will include delivering recruitment and training services for jobs in the development.

When work is completed next year, the site will contain a public plaza running alongside the medieval city walls and a row of restaurants and bars.

It will also contain a luxury Showcase Cinema de Lux, the first of its kind in the south, which will boast ten screens.

The news comes as Hammerson announced the first eateries within the development will be Wahaca, Byron and Zizzi.

Hammerson Development manager, Guy Wells, said: “Today marked an important step in the WestQuay Watermark project, and highlights the opportunities the development will create for the people of Southampton.

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with both Southampton City Council and Sir Robert McAlpine on the long-term regeneration of the city.”

Leader of Southampton City Council, Simon Letts, said: “This development is a great opportunity for our local residents to forge a career and will create a significant number of new jobs and apprenticeships alongside the creation of a major landmark development for the city that they can be proud to be a part of.

“In the council’s anniversary year it is fitting that this is our 50th major development in the city that will have an Employment and Skills Plan to help local people into work.”