WORK on the mothballed £650m Trinity Leeds shopping centre looks likely to restart soon after developers signed up fashion giant Next.
Property firm Land Securities said Next will open a 51,000 sq ft store in the scheme which covers an area around Briggate, Commercial Street, Albion Street and Boar Lane.
Trinity Leeds will boast more than 120 shops as well as a stylish new casual dining and leisure quarter, including the first Everyman Cinema in the north.
Work on the 1m sq ft development, set to be Leeds's biggest shopping complex, was put on hold last April because of the recession.
It is now due to open in October 2012 with Land Securities aiming to resume work in late spring.
Land Securities' retail leasing director John Grimes said: "Trinity Leeds is going to offer a vibrant retail destination in circumstances where there will be a limited UK development pipeline.
"We have the potential to create one of the most interesting tenant line-ups seen in the UK by mixing the best of the high street with new and upcoming brands and we know that Next is an essential retailer within the mix.
"We are therefore very excited that Next has committed to opening a store at Trinity Leeds, which will be their seventh largest in the UK and offer their customers the largest and latest range in fashion and homewares.
"We continue to advance towards our pre-letting threshold and are pleased with the level of interest from both UK and international retailers as they realise the unparalleled opportunity Trinity Leeds offers."
The retailer will move from its existing site in Albion Street to join Marks & Spencer, Boots, Top Shop, BHS and H&M.
Andrew Varley, group property director for Next, said: "We continue to focus on building the Next offer and we are delighted to be able to give our customers a new store in Leeds which will feature the latest lines and concepts in a fantastic trading location.
"The quality of Trinity Leeds design and the aspiring retail line-up will give Next an unparalleled environment from which to trade. I am confident that our Trinity Leeds store will be one of our very best in the UK."
Developers hope the scheme will elevate Leeds from fifth to fourth place in the UK league table of shopping destinations, overtaking Manchester.