Retail giant Marks and Spencer has confirmed that its Cross Gates store will shut and relocate to the Thorpe Park Leeds development.
The company has secured a lease on a unit in the shopping park near Garforth, which will provide double the floorspace available in Cross Gates, and it plans to open a 40-seater cafe, subject to planning permission.
Around 40 current jobs will be transferred to the new store, which will also create new vacancies.
Cross Gates and Whinmoor councillor Peter Gruen (Labour) has called for the chain to provide transport for staff whose roles are relocated to the site.
“I welcome the investment announced today in the growth and creation of jobs at Thorpe Park. It is never good news to hear that a retailer is moving away from a local town centre, but I welcome the fact that the staff at M&S in Cross Gates will be transferring to the new store at Thorpe Park, and that additional jobs will be created.
“I look forward to further reassurance on what support they will 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. We also want to ensure that the owner of the existing M&S site finds a good long term use for the property. I will be ensuring we do everything we can to promote such a prominent and convenient location for a great business to step in to ensure the site is put to productive use.
“Cross Gates has some really great shops and local traders. I am committed to working with them to improve and promote Cross Gates as a retail destination. In the run up to Christmas I hope local people will take the time to see what the local businesses have to offer in Cross Gates.”