AMAZON has confirmed it is to open its second warehouse in the North-East - with 1,000 permanent jobs up for grabs.

The online retailer, which opened its Darlington 'Fulfilment Centre' in May, will open its second in Durham later this year.

The enormous 550,000sq ft site, near Bowburn, has been visible from the A1M since ground was broken last year.

But as construction nears to completion, Councillor Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, has welcomed the promise of new jobs.

The Northern Echo: Amazon opened its Darlington site earlier this year Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTAmazon opened its Darlington site earlier this year Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

This morning, he said: “Amazon’s decision to locate its second North-East fulfilment centre at the Integra 61 site is a clear reflection of confidence in County Durham, our workforce and our prospects for the future.

“Developing the county’s economy and creating more and better jobs have always been among our top priorities, with the creation of sites such as Integra 61 a vital part of our strategy."

The Northern Echo:

It said recruitment for the Amazon teams who will pick, pack and ship customer orders from the enormous site will begin next month.

Stefano Perego, Amazon’s Vice President of Europe Customer Fulfilment, said: “We are excited to continue our expansion in the North East of England, creating a further 1,000 new permanent roles, this time in Durham.

"Our employees work in modern, high-tech workplaces, receiving competitive wages and comprehensive benefits from day one."

Describing the new site as 'state-of-the-art, Mr Perego said Amazon remained committed to the area as he said thousands were now employed in our region.

Amazon has also purchased land in the Gateshead and the retailer is tipped to be making a further announcement in coming months.

'This is important for the region'

For Cllr Henig of Durham Council, Amazon's confirmation this morning will help the region to 'recover' from the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Henig said: "This is particularly important at the moment, when our focus is on ensuring the local and regional economy is able to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have carried out significant infrastructure improvements at Integra 61 and worked hard to promote its many benefits to potential investors. It is very gratifying that this effort is now paying off.”

Simon Clarke MP, Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, said: “This announcement of a significant number of new, permanent jobs is great news for the North East and reinforces this Government's commitment to levelling up and creating and protecting jobs right across the country.

"Amazon's decision to open the new Fulfilment Centre in Durham is testament to the potential of the region, and I welcome the investment, jobs and regional growth it will bring.”