The store at Anchorwood Bank is set to open later in the year, with recruitment already under way.

Recruitment for Barnstaple’s Asda store has begun, with at least 240 jobs available.

The store, which is set to open on November 7, has started its search for employees, Barnstaple’s Job Centre Plus has confirmed.

Jo Harris, frontline manager at Job Centre Plus in Barnstaple, said that employment had remained ‘quite static’ in the area from month to month.

Work at Anchorwood is likely to be a factor in employment figures over the coming year, with Next, Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito all set to start recruiting through Job Centre Plus.

Ms Harris said: “Although the figures are quite static, sites like Anchorwood are providing a boost to the area.

“The next couple of months will also see retailers looking to employ for the Christmas period.”

In Torridge, the figures show that the number of people claiming out of work benefits has fallen by 598 since 2010, a drop of 50 per cent.

Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, said: “Today’s figures show that employment is growing across all the regions and nations of the United Kingdom as we build a Britain that works for everyone not just the privileged few.

“The number of people in Torridge and West Devon relying on the key out of work benefits has fallen by 598 since 2010 – a 50% drop. Nevertheless, we cannot be complacent. It is essential that work should pay a decent living wage and that we press ahead with welfare reforms like Universal Credit to make sure that it always pays for people to be in work rather than on benefits.

“With the employment rate at a record high, the unemployment rate at its lowest level in over 10 years, and wages up whilst inflation has remained low, we are making sure that everyone can share in the country’s wealth.”

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