UPDATED: Jobs boost for £165m Leeds retail plan

An artist's impression of the new John Lewis store for Leeds.
An artist's impression of the new John Lewis store for Leeds.
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A deal has been struck to deliver a massive jobs boost for Leeds residents through the new Victoria Gate retail development.

The £165m scheme is set to open next year, giving the city its own John Lewis store and creating more than 1,000 jobs.

Now a new charter has been signed by chiefs at Leeds City Council, John Lewis and the project’s developer to ensure the city’s residents are best placed to secure the retail and construction jobs available.

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Hammerson, Leeds City Council and John Lewis have said they will work closely with local colleges and universities, training providers and specialist agencies.

The Victoria Gate scheme, will also feature two-street covered arcade with more than 30 retailers and restaurants.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake hailed the agreement as great news for the city.

She said: “It is one of our top priorities as a council to ensure everyone in the city shares the opportunities provided by economic development as we forge forward for the future.

“The city is very ambitious, but when we attract this sort of investment one of the most important things is ensuring that as many people as possible in Leeds benefit.”

Andy Street, the managing director of John Lewis, said: “We are committed to the local communities in which we operate, and by signing this charter, it affirms our focus to provide local jobs for local people.”

Robin Dobson, the development retail director for Hammerson, said the centre would create long lasting employment in Leeds.

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