PORT bosses are hopeful an enormous distribution park, creating more than a thousand jobs, could be operational by the end of the year.

Construction of the warehousing development - the size of almost 40 football pitches next to the Port of Tilbury - is set to start after work to add a new junction to the Asda roundabout and other landscaping and drainage works were finished last week.

That means the next phase of the port’s London Distribution Park project can get underway.

When complete, the development will consist of nine warehouses built on land running alongside A1089 Dock Approach, for businesses to store goods which are being shipped in or out of the port.

From there they will be shipped or transported to their destination in the UK.

The huge development could create up to 1,100 jobs by the time it is complete.

Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports, owners of the Port of Tilbury said: “We are delighted that the first stage of the development is complete and we can now focus on delivering the bespoke buildings for our customers.

“This multi-million pound development represents a significant opportunity to create jobs in the area and this investment in the infrastructure work brings that a stage closer. LDP is a great asset for our national and international customers who can take advantage of the Port’s excellent Portcentric experience and connections in logistics and distribution.

“ We would hope to see customers operating from the site later this year.”

Jason Dalby, Managing Director at Roxhill Developments, who are carrying out the works, said: “This is excellent progress for the development which offers occupiers such great benefits.

“We look forward to progressing with the next phase of the development during 2014.”