Leeds councillor’s concerns over M&S closure plan

How the new retail park will look.
How the new retail park will look.
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An east Leeds councillor has voiced concern about the toll that could be taken on Cross Gates by the closure of its branch of Marks & Spencer.

As reported in yesterday’s Yorkshire Evening Post, the opening of a new M&S at the Thorpe Park Leeds retail park will mean the end of the line for the firm’s existing store on Station Road.

And today Coun Janette Walker (Lab, Cross Gates and Whinmoor) told the YEP she was worried about the relocation’s “commercial and social” impact on Cross Gates.

She also said she was keen for the site currently occupied by M&S to be offered to “another quality food retailer”.

All the staff roles at M&S in Cross Gates will be transferred to the Thorpe Park Leeds store.

Subject to planning permission, it will be nearly double the size of the existing branch and a number of new jobs are set to be created by its opening.

Coun Walker’s fellow ward member, Coun Peter Gruen (Lab), said: “I look forward to further reassurance from Marks & Spencer on what support they will be offering to their employees, especially those that live locally and do not have access to private transport.

“I would also welcome information on how any new roles will be marketed and hope that there will be a commitment to work with us to secure employment for local people.”

Thorpe Park Leeds is a joint venture between Scarborough International Properties and Legal & General Capital.

Scheduled to open in 2018, the retail park will also be home to Next and TK Maxx stores.

M&S is aiming for a simultaneous opening and closure of its Thorpe Park and Cross Gates branches.

The Thorpe Park Leeds site is already partly occupied by a successful business park.