Retail boost for shopping centre as new store fills gap left by BHS

Next is creating a huge store at the White Rose Centre.
Next is creating a huge store at the White Rose Centre.
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Retail giant Next is doubling the size of one of its Leeds stores in a multi-million pound investment as the city cements its position as a shopper’s paradise.

The chain will move into the old BHS lot at the White Rose shopping centre following the company’s collapse last year.

Next is investing £6m into moving from its old 29,000 sq ft space to the new two-floor 55,000 sq ft store as part of a revamp of the shopping centre.

Steven Foster, general manager at White Rose, said: “The multi-million pound Next expansion will offer visitors an exciting shopping experience and strengthen the already impressive line-up we have here at White Rose.

“We have so many exciting additions we have planned this year and the shopping centre is constantly evolving.

“This fantastic news, along with our leisure extension, is proof that we’re making 
ongoing investments into improving our customer experience.”

The store is part of a bigger expansion to the centre, which will include an 11-screen Cineworld IMAX cinema and six new restaurants, including Wagamama, TGI Fridays, Pizza Hut and Chiquito.

The project is due to be completed in autumn with Next to open its doors again in June.

Store manager Aran Kelly said: “Everyone’s looking forward to opening our new, amazing store which will showcase our brilliant new shop fit and will really put Next at White Rose back on the map.”

Representatives from Leeds Chamber of Commerce said the development was more evidence of Leeds’ resilient business sector as the flagship retail lot is brought back into use in the wake of BHS’s collapse.

In 2013 the Trinity Leeds opened in the city centre with Victoria Gate following in October last year.

And Next will open a separate store at the Thorpe Park development in east Leeds – an established business park that will to be made into a new scheme offering leisure, retail, housing and office space.

Planning permission was granted last year for a 60,000 sq ft multi-screen cinema in phase two of the development, which, when completed, will include 140 acres of parkland and sports facilities.

The firm behind the project has invested £162m. Next will anchor the retail element of the scheme and its high profile on the high street is expected to provide a big pull for other retailers.

Jonathan Schofield.

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