MORE investment is going into shopping developments in Leeds and neighbouring areas than any other part of Europe, it has been claimed.
The announcement that work will start next month on the first phase of the Victoria Gate scheme in Leeds - which will house the first John Lewis in the city - has taken the amount being spent on new shops to £1 billion.
That is according to figures from Leeds and Partners, the body responsible for attracting investment to the area.
Overall development taking place or “in the pipeline” across the Leeds City Region amounts to £2.5bn.
The figures were released at the end of the MIPIM international property convention in France, where representatives from the region have been trying to persuade international investors to come to Yorkshire.
Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The level of development that is taking place is a clear demonstration of the confidence that investors have in the city region and we’re looking to build on that.
“As our city region partners bring some of the largest city centre regeneration and investment opportunities in Europe to market, the LEP is committed to harnessing the opportunities that MIPIM provides and unlocking the potential the region has to offer.”
It was announced last week that work on the first phase of Victoria Gate, which will occupy land at Union Street currently used as a car park and the Milgarth police station, will start on April 7.
The new figures also include the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, which opened last year, built at a cost of around £380m.
A new office block is currently taking shape on the Wellington Place development which will become the home of Leeds law firm Shulmans.
Andrew Latchmore, a partner at the firm, said: “The scope, scale and ambition of the developments that are taking place across the Leeds City Region are a demonstration of the confidence in the region’s economy and its resilience.
“Alongside retail development, office take-up in Leeds is at a 15-year high, we have a new arena and there is significant investment in infrastructure and public transport, with the £250 million trolleybus.
“Together these are helping to deliver a vibrant, exciting and distinctive future for the City.”
Other major retail projects underway in the region include the soon-to-open Vangarde development in York, featuring new Marks and Spencer and John Lewis stores.
Work has also started on the Westfield Broadway shopping centre in Bradford. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Click here to register and have your say on the stories and issues that matter to you