FASHION giant Next is to open a flagship store in Leeds, paving the way for a host of other retailers to sign up to the new 300,000 sq ft shopping and leisure park.
Next will open the 18,000 sq ft store at Thorpe Park in east Leeds, an established business park which is to be developed into a new scheme offering leisure, retail, housing and office space.
Planning permission was granted last month for a new 60,000 sq ft multi-screen cinema in phase two of the development, which will include 140 acres of parkland and sports facilities.
Next will anchor the retail element of the scheme and its high profile on the high street is expected to provide a big pull for other retailers.
“Thorpe Park Leeds is a great location for Next with its dense population catchment and position on the strategic road network,” said a spokesman for Next.
“We can see that it is already a vibrant environment that will be enhanced further with the extension of the business park, the new shops and restaurants, new homes and public space.
“We are very pleased to be involved in such an important project for the City of Leeds, and look forward to delivering our new store in this prominent location.”
Thorpe Park Leeds is a well-established 800,000 sq ft business park with over 60 occupiers including IBM, National Grid, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Atkins, BAM and United Utilities.
Thorpe Park Developments is a joint venture between Scarborough Group International and Legal & General Capital. The firm is progressing works on site to deliver phase two, which will include over 1.3 million sq ft of mixed use accommodation.
Scarborough recently announced a deal with housebuilder Redrow to sell a part of the site for 300 new homes and is progressing the speculative delivery of a 31,650 sq ft Grade A office building, the first of 940,000 sq ft planned for the site.
Thorpe Park Developments said it is in detailed discussions with a number of major retailers and leisure firms who are keen to sign up to the site.
Mark Jackson, a consultant for Scarborough, said, “The deal with Next is a major milestone for Thorpe Park Leeds which until now has remained a successful yet traditional business park.
“Radical plans for phase two will change all of that, transforming Thorpe Park Leeds into a true mixed use destination, delivering on site amenities for an anticipated 13,500 working population at the park as well as the surrounding communities.”
Scarborough said it is working closely with Leeds City Council to develop the new plans for the park and the improvements it will bring to east Leeds.
Legal & General Capital is investing £162m into the project and is a 50:50 partner to fund future development works.
Phase two at Thorpe Park Leeds will include the first section of the East Leeds Orbital Road,which will connect north and east Leeds to Junction 46 of the M1.
This road will unlock land for the construction of up to 7,000 new homes in the east Leeds area, land that is either already allocated in the Local Plan or which is brownfield.