White Rose fully let and Trinity Leeds close behind

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WHITE Rose is 100 per cent let for the first time since the recession hit trading as demand for space at the shopping centre picks up ahead of a proposed extension that will create up to 1,000 new jobs.

White Rose’s owner Land Securities is in final planning talks with Leeds City Council to thrash out issues over car parking to ensure there is enough space for extra visitors.

A decision was expected by the end of October, but is now expected before Christmas.

Land Securities portfolio director Gerald Jennings said he is confident the plans have got a lot of public support.

“All the feedback is that everyone wants this to happen,” he said.

The extension that will bring a multi-screen cinema, four new restaurants, increased floorspace for the existing Primark and Debenhams stores and the creation of a new car park.

The centre is 100 per cent let for the first time since the recession struck five years ago.

“We have no vacant space at all,” said Mr Jennings.

“That’s quite a milestone for us. We’re still seeing difficult economic and retailing conditions, but people want to come to White Rose. We always have retailers wanting to talk to us about space at the centre.”

In the city centre, Land Securities’ landmark £350m Trinity Leeds development is now 96 per cent let or in solicitors’ hands.

New entrants include upmarket US lingerie firm Victoria’s Secret, sports and leisure retailer Adidas, jeweller Rox and American lifestyle footware retailer Skechers - all of which are new to the city. For Skechers, the store is its first outside London. They have joined brands such as Apple, Mango, Hollister, Superdry, Topshop/Topman, H&M, Next and Marks & Spencer.

A new 107,000 sq ft Primark store is due to open early next month allowing it to cash in on the Christmas rush.

“The transformation that Trinity has brought to the prime retail core of Leeds has been tremendous,” said Mr Jennings.

Trinity Leeds has recorded footfall of more than 14 million since it opened on March 21.

“This is where we thought we’d be, particularly as Primark hasn’t opened yet,” said Mr Jennings.