WEB giant Amazon is opening a delivery centre in Basildon which could create more than 200 new jobs.

The company has announced it will begin operations at the warehouse in Christopher Martin Road, near the Mayflower Retail Park, within the next week.

Amazon will employ 20 staff directly, but as many as 200 new drivers could be hired by the eight companies working to deliver parcels from the warehouse to customers across Essex and Suffolk.

Since 2012, the company has opened a series of delivery stations across the UK under its Amazon Logistics banner.

It uses independent regional delivery companies to provide a seven day per week delivery service of Amazon parcels.

Basildon Council leader Phil Turner said: “You can’t say anything else but welcome to Basildon. These are great jobs for hardworking people.

“The message is getting out there that we have a great range of available employees here.

“We have got to keep talking up Basildon and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Amazon will be moving into a unit at the recently completed Gateway Park development.

The second unit at the site has already been let to food ingredient supplier Kent Foods.

Amazon is due to open the centre on a small scale in the next week and will increase operations from the base over time.

Jamie Stephenson, UK director for Amazon Logistics, said: “Amazon Logistics adds capacity and flexibility to our delivery network, enabling us to meet the delivery needs of customers.

“Amazon Logistics is also helping independent local delivery companies to grow their businesses by providing state of the art technology to deliver Amazon orders.”

Amazon Logistics currently has 17 delivery stations in the UK, which has led to the number of Sunday deliveries of its parcels increasing by four times in the last year.

The company is the second multinational group in recent months to announce it is opening a major regional base in Basildon.

Costa Coffee will build a coffee bean roasting plant on the site of the former Visteon motor parts factory, also in Christopher Martin Road.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the Costa site - only the second of its kind in the UK - is due to take place next week.