A VARIETY store chain is opening its doors at a south Essex retail park this week after a £1 million investment and dozens of new jobs created.

As one of the UK’s largest family-run retailers, Home Bargains is creating 84 jobs with its new store at Lakeside retail park.

The new "Thurrock 2" store will open to customers on Friday at 8am, complementing the existing Thurrock Shopping Park store, and more than 600 outlets nationwide.

Jarred Reed, the new store manager, has been with Home Bargains for 10 years, starting in Southend as a team member on an eight-hour contract and progressed throughout his career to store manager.

“Our second Thurrock location will be a great store for us, and we’re proud to be able to offer top-branded goods at exceptionally low prices,” Jarred commented.

The 24,789 square feet store will offer shoppers a range of products, including homewares, health and beauty essentials, sweets, snacks and drinks, as well as fresh and frozen food. "Thurrock 2" will also be home to a Home Bargains bakery.

Home Bargains will also be donating £2,000 to MCA Trust, a charity which supports children and families across Essex affected by cancer.

Keith Isaacs, at The MCA Trust: “This is an amazing gesture; this donation will be used to support children and families, in the area, that are impacted with cancer, working in conjunction with the local Hospitals and Great Ormond Street Hospital London.

“The MCA Trust Children's Charity, provides not only respite care, but works with five hospitals by helping make the child's hospital experience much more comfortable whilst undergoing treatment

“In addition, we fund qualified teachers to visit the family home on a one to one basis, whilst the child is either in treatment or post treatment to help their return to school that much more seamless

“This is one of the biggest concerns we hear when talking to children parents that have beaten this condition, is the loss of schooling. The MCA Trust believe that a child that has had cancer should not have the rest of their lives blighted by having beaten it.”