The long overdue revamp of an aging Leeds shopping centre has finally got underway.
Following a campaign by councillors and traders, the £180,000 transformation of Middleton District Centre, in St George’s Road, is expected to be complete by early 2016.
The centre’s car park is being resurfaced, while new trees and a new illuminated sign are being installed as part of the redevelopment of the site, which has been funded by money from the development of Middleton Asda.
The revamp has been masterminded by a new traders’ forum, comprising of retailers from Middleton Park Circus, Belle Isle’s main shopping parade and the district centre, and it is hoped that the collaborative work will continue.
Coun Kim Groves (Lab, Middleton Park) said: “To finally see the work underway here is such an amazing feeling as we have been working for over two years to get to this point.”
She continued: “To my knowledge, from a local perspective, I can’t remember it ever being upgraded or updated and with it being private, it’s something the council doesn’t fund but those traders do pay rates.”
Coun Groves added that she is hopeful that boosts to other south Leeds shopping parades will follow.
Middleton District Centre has been open to shoppers off Middleton Ring Road for around 30 years and is situated on the opposite side of St George’s Road to the new Asda development.
Asda Middleton opened last May and brought more than 300 jobs to the area as well as a contribution of section 106 money to be spent locally.
Traders’ forum member Sarah Brook, from St George’s Cafe at Middleton District Centre, said: “When it is finished the whole area is going to look so much better, local residents have been complaining about the state of the car park in particular for so long and so it really is a relief to see the work started.”