Amazon to create more than 1,000 jobs at new Bristol warehouse

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Amazon has unveiled plans for a new warehouse near Bristol that is set to create over 1,000 jobs in a bid to meet growing customer demand.

The online retail giant says it will start recruiting engineers, operations managers, HR and IT specialists in 2018 ahead of the Severn Beach site's opening next year.

It will add to its burgeoning UK workforce, which will total 24,000 by the end of 2017.

The Bristol warehouse will be based on a site just outside of Bristol at Severn Beach, which adds to a string of new sites including Daventry which opened in February this year.

The company is also on track to open new warehouses in Doncaster, Warrington and Tilbury this autumn, adding to 13 existing locations across the UK.

Amazon said the decision to launch a Bristol site was driven by "increasing customer demand", adding that the move would expand its selection and support small businesses using its online Marketplace to scale their operations.

News of the new warehouse was welcomed by Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti who said Amazon's investment would help the region thrive after Britain leaves the EU.

"This will bring more jobs to our area and offer careers with training opportunities, helping the local economy to grow.

"An international outward-looking company like Amazon will help us maximise the fantastic opportunities for our region after Brexit."

The retail giant - which has faced criticism over the way it treats workers - said all permanent "fulfilment centre" employees will start on an hourly wage of £7.65, which will increase to £8.15 or more over their first two years on the job.

The company will also offer staff stock grants and benefits including private medical insurance, income protection, subsidised meals, and a company pension plan.

Stefano Perego, Amazon's director of UK customer fulfilment, said: "We are very excited to expand our network into Bristol, which will in total create more than 1,000 new permanent roles with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.

"There are several factors we consider when deciding on where to place a new fulfilment centre, and Bristol offers fantastic infrastructure and talented local people who we look forward to joining the Amazon team."

Amazon made headlines earlier this month when it was found to have paid 50% less UK corporation tax last year, despite a 54% jump in turnover.

Accounts filed by Amazon UK Services show the company was billed £15.8 million in 2015 compared with £7.4 million in 2016.

In the same period, turnover at Amazon UK Services broke the £1 billion barrier for the first time, climbing from £946 million to £1.46 billion while profit before tax fell from £48.5 million to £24.2 million.

US President Donald Trump lashed out at Amazon on Twitter on Wednesday, saying: "Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!"

The retailer is also being watched closely following news of its planned 13.7 billion US dollar (£10.7 billion) takeover of grocer Whole Foods.