BOSSES at Shirebrook's flagship Sportsworld factory have joined council chiefs and hit back at rumours claiming the firm is employing too many cheap overseas workers ahead of local jobseekers.
They have issued the stinging response after some townsfolk claimed the sports giant had gone back on a promise to create hundreds of jobs for locals and instead employing scores of Eastern Europeans.
The firm moved into a warehouse factory on the Brook Park complex in March and has already created hundreds of posts for locals and insists every position in its shop has been taken up by folk from across the area.
Sportsworld has revealed that a number of former agency workers from Poland have transferred to the factory from the firm's site in Dunstable and says it is committed to breathing new life into the local economy –– and points to all new company vehicles and drivers being purchased and recruited from across Bolsover.
Speaking earlier this week, local Bolsover district councillor Brian Murray-Carr backed the firm and told Chad it had provided a huge boost to the area.
"Current speculation and rumour relating to all the jobs being for local people is incorrect and misleading," he said.
"Sportsworld has clearly stated from the onset that employment opportunities will be open to anyone who has the ability, skills and commitment.
"At no stage has there been an indication that the jobs will all go to local workers."
And his views were echoed by colleague Coun Steve Fritchley, who said Sportsworld was being unfairly criticised.
"Sportsworld has employed many locals and are doing a great job for the area," he said.
"The foreign workers are people who were already employed by the firm before they relocated and who cannot be replaced just like that.
"I am satisfied the firm is committed to the Shirebrook area and to a local workforce.
"Sportsworld is developing really quickly and I am sure in time there will be even more opportunities for locals to find work with the firm."