Leeds: £8.5m retail hub may be open within a year

An artist's impression of the planned �8.5m retail park.
An artist's impression of the planned �8.5m retail park.
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An £8.5m retail park on a long derelict former factory site in Leeds could be open within a year, project bosses have revealed,

Opus North, the Ilkley-based property and investment company, has been given permission to redevelop the four-acre former DENSO Marston site in Armley Road.

Leeds city councillors recently gave the green light to plans to develop the site, which was previously occupied by the thermal cooling systems manufacturer but has been empty for 20 years.

It has now emerged that building work on the retail park will begin in the summer, and it is scheduled to open in spring next year.

The scheme will create 100 jobs and a number of national retailers are already lined up as tenants.

The site in Armley had been branded an eyesore by local residents and councillors. DENSO Marston moved its premises to Shipley, near Bradford, in the 1990s.

The Armley scheme is the latest in a number of developments being brought to the market by Opus. Opus was also recently granted permission for a £6.5m retail park in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

The development, featuring a Wickes DIY store, a Pets at Home and other high-profile retailers, together with a 100-space car park, will be built on part of the site of the Guyson’s International factory on Keighley Road.

Andrew Duncan, the managing director of Opus North, said: “These sizeable investments in Armley and Skipton will bring more jobs to the area and more choice to shoppers. They are major boosts to the local economy.”

Mr Duncan said Opus North had been taking advantage of the renewed economic confidence. He added: “We have been incredibly busy, busier even than in the boom times before 2008. The new confidence in the economy means that deals can be done, provided the location, the building and the price are right.”