Exciting new images of the upmarket £150m Victoria Gate scheme in Leeds have been unveiled.
Hammerson, the company behind the city centre development, has appointed Sir Robert McAlpine to undertake the main construction works.
The new retail scheme, which received detailed planning consent last year, will see John Lewis open its first store in the city with a 21,000 square meter flagship site alongside a retail arcade with 30 stores, restaurants, cafes, a casino and a multi-story car park.
Initial enabling works on the site have already begun and the main work is scheduled to start later this spring.
Hammerson said the first phase of the regeneration scheme will create up to 1,000 construction and 1,000 retail and hospitality jobs.
Vinod Thakrar, Hammerson’s director for project management, said: “With a strong track record of delivering schemes on time and to a high build quality, we are delighted to add Sir Robert McAlpine to the Victoria Gate team.”
Jeremy Collins, property director at John Lewis, said: “We are delighted to see this project coming to fruition. It represents a triumph for the partnership we have forged with Hammerson and the City Council”.
Hammerson is working with Leeds City Council’s Employment and Skills Service and Sir Robert McAlpine to ensure that the local workforce in Leeds gets access to employment opportunities and will be offering skills and training opportunities.
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.”
A careers fair will take place in early April for people who want to find out more about jobs and training opportunities.
All vacancies will be advertised via the Council’s Employment and Skills Service.
The city centre mall is expected to open in autumn 2016.
Hammerson believes that the Victoria Gate development will turn Leeds into the third biggest shopping destination in England.
The site will help the city move from sixth place in the retail league table to third, behind London and Birmingham.