Thousands of jobseekers have applied for a role at the new shopping village set to open in Staffordshire in the coming weeks.
The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands is bringing 1,000 new jobs to Cannock Chase, as well as more than 80 shops and restaurants.
Major retail brands coming to the £160m Cannock centre include Adidas, Nike, Kurt Geiger, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss and Joules, while chains including Five Guys, Wagamama and Starbucks are gearing up to refresh shoppers.
Cannock Chase Council has welcomed the investment in the area and new job opportunities for residents. On Thursday cabinet members heard that there had been around 6,000 applications so far from people seeking a role.
The authority teamed up with Walsall College, McArthurGlen and Cannock Job Centre Plus to launch a retail training academy to help residents prepare for the recruitment process.
Cllr Tony Johnson, cabinet member for economic development and planning, said: “Eighty per cent of people applying live within a 15-mile radius of the designer village itself. And 110 ground staff are currently working on the site preparing for the launch.”
But there was no firm opening date given for the centre however. Non-essential shops currently remain closed as part of national restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus.
Councillor Johnson said: “Discussions are ongoing as to when the exact date will be.
“April 12 is when non-essential retail could reopen and McArthurGlen fits into that category. If I know business they will be looking to open as soon as possible – from April 12 if not on April 12 itself.”
A spokesperson for the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the centre was set to open in the spring and an opening date would be announced in due course.