A NEW hotel in the heart of Leek has been overwhelmed by the response to a job advertisement – with 400 people applying for just 30 opportunities on offer.
Two weeks ago Premier Inn advertised in the Post & Times offering positions for a front of house team for the venue's reception and restaurant, chefs, restaurant and bar staff, and housekeeping room attendants.
The company received 400 applicants and invited 136 to its first recruitment event.
Yesterday, Tuesday, 75 people attended further screenings, with 41 making it through to the final interviews.
The £4.5 million hotel scheme will create a mixture of 30 full and part-time jobs when the new premises open.
Mike Smith, new openings manager for the hotel in Ashbourne Road, said: "We are overwhelmed with the positive response to job applications for the new Premier Inn in Leek.
"We have had 400 applicants to fill a variety of roles at the new site, with more than 130 attending our first recruitment event. We are really looking forward to opening the doors to the new Premier Inn in the town this summer."
Councillor Sybil Ralphs, leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, said: "We're all very much looking forward to the Premier Inn opening its doors this summer.
"It's a terrific boost for Leek. The response from local people to the opportunities created is great and confirms that we are moving in the right direction with regard to attracting businesses to the Moorlands, and supporting those that are already here to continue to flourish and grow. I wish all concerned every success."
Deputy Mayor of Leek, Pam Wood, who is also the district council ward member for the area in which the Premier Inn is being built, said she had heard nothing but praise for the workmanship and design of the hotel.
She said: "I am very pleased that Premier Inn has come to Leek. This has helped to start the regeneration on this part of the town.
"I think the new building looks wonderful and the renovation of the old Talbot pub is excellent."
"This is a very important part of the town and the work has enhanced the area around the Nicholson War Memorial.
"Now it would be nice to see the two mills further up Ashbourne Road renovated."
The new hotel is due to open in early August.
However, Mrs Wood said that the large number of applicants showed that Leek and the Moorlands needs to create many more jobs.
She added: "The number of people applying for the 30 jobs on offer at Premier Inn shows that there is a need for more urgent job creation in the Staffordshire Moorlands. I have been saying for some time that we must create jobs to keep our young people in the area.
"We also need jobs that offer a career structure."