WAITROSE has received more than 700 applications in only three weeks of advertising the 150 vacancies at their new store in Wichelstowe.

The multi-million pound store is currently being built on the fields off Peglars Way and Foxham Way, at what will become the Wichelstowe District Centre.

Roles for the new store, which will be built on the 3.5-hectare site that will become Middle Wichel, were first advertised in December.

Waitrose then closed the application window last week after an overwhelming 724 job applications were submitted to the company.

Applicants included local unemployed people and candidates put forward by Jobcentre Plus and council initiative resources.

The company’s director of development, Nigel Keen, said: “We have had a phenomenal response and are encouraged by the calibre of applications we’ve received. “We are grateful that so many people are eager to work for our business, and look forward to a successful future at the Wichelstowe store.”

The supermarket will now sift through the applications before inviting the most suitable candidates to interview in February.

The company will have to whittle down the candidates to a choice 150 staff.

As Partners, all employees will be entitled to exclusive benefits, including shopping and leisure discounts, leisure and learning subsidies and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus.

A spokesman from Wait-rose said: “We are thrilled by the volume of applications we’ve received during the recruitment process for our new store in Swindon and are very impressed by their high calibre.

“We advertised for a number of different roles, ranging from managerial positions to in-store sales assistants, and in total we will be taking on approximately 150 new employees who will all become Partners in the John Lewis Partnership.

“This will be our first Waitrose store in Swindon and we are very excited about being part of the new development in Wichelstowe. “The new store is now taking shape and we are looking forward to opening our doors to customers this spring.”

Construction of the new store caused havoc last month when Mill Lane and Foxham Way were closed without warning to allow building to take place.

The roads are now expected to be closed until the end of February.