Online retail giant Amazon has announced it is launching a recruitment drive to create more than 1,000 jobs for a new fulfilment centre in Darlington, County Durham.

Work has been under way for almost a year at the massive fulfilment and distribution centre at Symmetry Park near Darlington for Amazon.

The 1.5m sq ft logistics centre is being funded by real estate investment group Tritax Big Box REIT to the tune of £120m – and is one of two being built in the North East for the firm, as the Integra 61 industrial park near Durham will also house an even larger centre.

Now, Amazon has linked its name to the scheme for the first time after confirming its investment in the new centre to help meet customer demand and enable firms selling on Amazon to scale their businesses.

Amazon, which has 21 fulfilment centres around the UK has started recruiting for a range of new roles for the fulfilment centre, including engineers, HR and IT professionals through to health & safety and finance specialists and operations managers.

Recruitment for the Amazon team in Darlington who will pick, pack and ship customer orders will begin early next year.

“We are excited to start the New Year with a recruitment drive for 1,000 new permanent roles in Darlington, with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one,” said Stefano Perego, Amazon’s vice president of UK Customer Fulfilment.

“We are delighted to expand our operations in the North East with this new team playing a crucial role in delivering a first-rate level of service for our customers.”

The Darlington site will be fitted out with advanced Amazon Robotics technology, with robots sliding under a tower of shelves where products are stowed, lift it and move it through the fulfilment centre.

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, said: “I welcome any new employer to Darlington but in the first week as MP for our town this is truly brilliant news, which deserves to be celebrated. Bringing jobs and investment to the Tees Valley is a key focus of mine and my new Conservative colleagues working hand in hand with Ben Houchen.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “My number one priority is always attracting the businesses and investment to the Tees Valley that will create the good quality well-paid jobs we all want to see come to our region and they don’t come much bigger than Amazon.

“Jobs are already open for application in HR, IT, finance, operations and engineering – just the sort of high-quality professional roles we want to see for the talented people in our area. I would encourage everyone to get applying for these exciting new roles now!

“We’ve worked incredibly hard with Heather Scott and everyone at Darlington Borough Council, and I am excited that this day has finally come and I look forward to the site being fully operational in the New Year. It is another huge vote of confidence in our region.”

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Coun Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Amazon to Darlington. There has been a great deal of interest in the site as building work has progressed, so it’s great to get this announcement just before Christmas.

“The jobs, investment and ongoing economic benefits this development will bring can only be a good thing for Darlington. I am sure this is just the beginning of long and fruitful working relationship between Amazon and Darlington.”

Darlington will be Amazon’s first fulfilment centre in the North East but it already has a delivery station in Washington, which was opened in 2015.