When the £150m Victoria Gate scheme is completed in autumn 2016, shopping centre landlord Hammerson say it will propel Leeds into the top three biggest retail destinations in the country, overtaking Manchester, our once seemingly untouchable retail rival. Only London and Birmingham will stand above Leeds.
This new retail scheme, which was granted planning permission last year, will house a 21,000 sq m John Lewis store, a retail arcade with 30 stores, restaurants, cafes, a casino and a multi-storey car park. Hammerson reckon the first phase of the regeneration scheme will create up to 1,000 construction jobs and 1,000 retail and hospitality jobs.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills, said, “We have begun working closely with Hammerson and Sir Robert McAlpine to ensure that opportunities through this major development become available to local people.
“We are committed to ensuring that local people benefit from the new opportunities and to making sure our work with the developer and contractor is tailored effectively to meet the needs of our city.”
With Hammerson’s existing shopping centres reporting a 97.7% occupancy rate, and the beginnings of a nationalwide economic and consumer recovery, Victoria Gate should prove be another massive success for Leeds.
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