DOZENS of jobs are to be created with the opening of a new store in Basildon.

Discount chain giant Home Bargains will open its new shop at the Westgate Shopping Park in Fodderwick.

The news has been welcomed by politicians in the borough who say the new jobs will boost the economy and will give residents the chance to buy bargain-priced goods as the recession continues to bite.

The shop will be based on the site of the former Brantano shoe store, which closed in November. Stephen Metcalfe, Tory MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, said: “This is good news.

“It shows there is some confidence returning to the economy, although we cannot take anything for granted. It is great a national company has included Basildon as part of its expansion plans.

“The jobs are a very welcome boost.”

Kevin Blake, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for leisure and arts, added: “When Brantano closed it was a disappointment. But this is good news and hopefully this will bring a bit more competition into the town centre with the other bargain shops, which may make things cheaper for shoppers.

“It will also be good to see a fresh shop opening up in the town.”

Home Bargain, owned by Liverpool based firm TJ Morris, sells everything from groceries to toys, clothes and homeware and is one of the fastest growing discount chains in the UK.

It is one of several discount stores in Basildon, including Wilkinsons, the Factory Shop and the 99p Store.

The Basildon store, which is due to open on January 29, is one of 200 new Home Bargain branches being opened up across the UK.

Joe Morris, director of TJ Morris, said the store will help shoppers “stretch their hard-earned cash”.

He added: “We are third generation shop keepers and it’s our business to offer people big savings. We sell top brands at bottom prices.”