SHOPS in Tenbury could benefit from free parking being provided at the new Tesco supermarket that is nearing completion.

Traders in the town are worried about the impact that the new store will have on their business.

But people will be able to park for free in the supermarket car park for up to 90 minutes.

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, whose constituency includes Tenbury believes that this will enable people to visit other shops in the town as well as the Tesco store.

The MP, who has met with Tesco bosses including the man designated as the store manager, hopes that existing traders in the town will be able to coexist with Tesco.

She has also welcomed the creation of more than 140 new jobs, although opponents of the development say that this will have to be balanced against jobs that they fear will be lost in other shops.

Harriett Baldwin has welcomed the news that up to 140 new jobs will be created when the new Tesco store opens next year in Tenbury.

The company is already recruiting staff and has held events at Tenbury High Ormiston Academy in order to find staff for the brand new store.

The MP met with newly-appointed manager Dave Ashton to talk about the plans for the new store and its commitments to the town including promised funding for the local Tenbury Transport Trust.

Harriett Baldwin was also briefed on planned improvements for the wall alongside the river at the Old Cattlemarket site and plans to offer free parking at the site for 90 minutes to allow shoppers to visit the store and other local shops.

“I am grateful for Dave to take the time to talk me through the company’s plans for the new store and I am encouraged that Tesco is already recruiting local people to fill the new job opportunities,” she said.

“The news that shoppers will benefit from 90 minutes of free car-parking will mean that people can both do their weekly shop as well as visit local stores.

“I am encouraged from the briefings that I have received that the store is planning to balance its offering with the range of goods already on offer in the town and people will still have the choice to shop wherever they like in Tenbury.”

Work on the new store is progressing well and Tesco say that they expect it to open at the end of February. The final Thursday has been provisionally designated as the opening day.

As part of the planning agreement, Tesco is set to contribute nearly £100,000 to the Tenbury Transport Trust that provides mini-bus services and a car service. Both are provided by volunteer drivers.

Tesco contractors are also working under the guidance of Worcestershire County Council on the second phase of improvements to the town centre.

The Tesco store on the former Cattle Market site was first discussed at a public meeting in the town in May 2010 but there have been prolonged delays.

However, the supermarket chain has always maintained its commitment to come to Tenbury and work started on clearing the site at the end of the summer and construction of the new store began in October.