Published: 20:47, 16 January 2022
| Updated: 20:49, 16 January 2022
At least 100 job vacancies remain at a Brexit border outpost in Dover ahead of a planned increase in the number of goods checks from July, it has emerged.
Inspections will be carried out at Bastion Point, at White Cliffs Business Park, in Whitfield.
Boris Johnson's government is investing millions to remodel the 75,751 sq ft warehouse, with new inspection rooms and chilled and frozen storage areas being installed to handle more checks on various types of food products following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Pledges have been made to hire around 200 people, including port health and technical officers, operational managers, team leaders and admin staff.
Half of the job vacancies have been filled, it was revealed at Kent County Council's (KCC) Conservative cabinet meeting last week.
This came during a verbal update presented by KCC's economic development cabinet member, Cllr Derek Murphy (Con).
Cllr Murphy, who is also Dover District Council's (DDC's) portfolio holder for port health, told his colleagues: "To date, this facility has attracted just under £12 million of investment from central government to set the facility up.
"That in turn will generate in total 200 staff, of which 100 have already been recruited.
"The majority of who are local people, which is good for the economy."
Dover is one of the primary trading gateways into France and mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel and English Channel.
From July, physical inspections of some animal products and high-risk foods imported into England will take place at Dover's Border Control Posts (BCPs).
This is to ensure the UK is protected from any potential risks deriving from imports of plant and animal products.
At Whitfield, the BCP facility will check around 300,000 items, such as animal feed and fish.
In turn, this will likely generate between 11 and 37 truck movements every 24 hours, says Cllr Murphy. He added: "We want to ensure this does not lead to blockages."
The Bastion Point site will include 8,625 sq ft of office space. It will be separate to the Brexit lorry park, located behind B&Q in Whitfield.
Dover Port Health Authority, a part of Dover District Council (DDC), will move into the "state-of-the-art" inspection headquarters from Spring 2022.
To apply click here