A NEW Tesco store has axed hundreds of jobs — before even opening its doors this month.

Hyndburn Borough Council’s leader has blasted the supermarket giant after just 191 posts were advertised for the new Accrington store.

Throughout the planning process, Tesco said the store would create 450 jobs and later pledged to target long-term unemployed Hyndburn residents for half these posts.

The supermarket giant, which has been inundated with 2,000 applications for the jobs, blamed the current economic climate.

Jobs have been given to 64 people classed as long-term unemployed, while a further 127 people have been recruited to work in the £32 million Eagle Street store.

Of those, 44 were Tesco employees transferred from the Nelson store which closed this summer.

Hyndburn Council’s leader Peter Britcliffe said: “The 191 jobs are welcome of course, but Tesco owes the council and the people of Hyndburn an explanation.”

A Tesco spokesperson said they hoped to create more jobs at the store “in time”.

She said: “Job numbers should rise once the store matures and trading increases.

"Despite having to cut back on predicted figures this is still one of the largest job creation developments in the district.

We are delighted to take on so many during the current economic climate, which we could never have predicted during the planning process.”

The store is due to open later this month.