The news that Next, one of the biggest names on the high street, has signed up to Thorpe Park Leeds will provide a major boost for the scheme.
Retailers usually wait to find out the identity of the anchor tenant before they sign up to a scheme and Next will be a big draw.
The popular high street operator is to anchor the retail element of the new 300,000 sq ft shopping and leisure park at Thorpe Park Leeds.
Thorpe Park Developments Limited, a joint venture between Scarborough Group International and Legal & General Capital, is already progressing works on site to deliver phase two comprising over 1.3 million sq ft of mixed use accommodation.
The 800,000 sq ft business park in east Leeds has over 60 occupiers including IBM, National Grid, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Atkins, BAM and United Utilities.
And it is hoped that the latest announcement will further boost the area.
“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.”
Scarborough Group International 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 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.
FASHIONING THE FUTURE FOR NEXT
Next is predicting that 2016 will be the toughest year it has faced since the financial crisis in 2008.
The fashion chain said it is bracing itself for a slowdown in consumer spending on a level not seen for eight years and for profits to fall by up to 4.5 per cent.
The group’s chief executive Simon Wolfson said: “The year ahead may well be the toughest we have faced since 2008. The outlook for consumer spending does not look as benign as it was at this time last year. There’s going to be a consumer slowdown this year, but we’re not going as far as predicting a recession.”