STUNNED staff are looking for new jobs after Tesco revealed that it has abandoned plans to open a new store in Girvan.
The 11th-hour decision was revealed to key workers last Thursday - just weeks before the Glendoune Street premises had been due to open.
According to a source within the company, eight senior staff members - including a manager and team leaders who had just completed an eight-week training course gearing them up to their new appointments - were called to a special meeting and asked how far they would be prepared to travel for work.
In most cases, the workers had given up secure jobs that were now filled.
And the Tesco employee, who preferred not to be named because talks aimed at finding alternative posts were still in progress, said they all felt badly let down over the shock announcement.
The source said: "One man was prepared to travel from Stranraer to Girvan after leaving his job in the store there.
"Now he has been offered one in Glasgow but that would mean selling his house - not the best time for that!
"Three other non-drivers were told they could have jobs in Ayr.
"As it would mean starting work at 5.30am and there is no public transport at that time, they will not be able to take up the offer."
In a statement to the Carrick Gazette, a Tesco spokesman said: "Following a review of our opening programme we will not be proceeding with our Girvan store this year.
"We will of course keep this decision under review."
However, the spokesman added: "Tesco customers will still be able to benefit from great Tesco value and choice at our Ayr Extra and Stranraer stores."
At the town's Asda supermarket, which has just celebrated a bumper first year of trading, a management spokesman said he could not comment on the Tesco decision.
However, he added: "One thing I would say is that we have been contacted by several people, who were to have worked for Tesco, about the possibility of getting jobs with us.
"I'd just like to say to anyone else who feels that they have been let down by Tesco over jobs to get in touch!"
Labour MSP Cathy Jamieson said: "I have spoken to management at Tesco who told me that the store in Girvan will not be opening this year and that it's a situation the company will keep under review.
"Local people will feel understandably let down as it could have led to more jobs in the area.
"However, I hope that what people will do is support their local businesses who have been worried about the impact of having another larger-scale store in the town and how that might have affected the viability of smaller shops in Girvan and the surrounding area.
"The fact that Tesco made this decision highlights the ongoing economic problems faced in Carrick."
She added: "Everyone, from local to national government, needs to look at how we can improve the local infrastructure, particularly in relation to rail and road links and boost the local economy."
And South Ayrshire Conservative Councillor Ian Fitzsimmons said: "I am just hopeful that some of the other superstores might be interested in taking over the new building.
"I am really surprised that a firm like Tesco should have gone so far and then withdrawn."
Mr Fitzsimmons added: "I am sorry for the people who are not now going to get jobs there and just hope that something else turns up for them."
At the time of going to press it was unclear if plans for a Subway outlet adjacent to the Tesco store would still go ahead.
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Weather for Girvan
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west