THE benefits of the new £165 million Victoria Gate development have been well-rehearsed.
Without question it will seal the city’s reputation as the premier shopping destination of the north and, with the opening of flagship store John Lewis, promises a new dawn for a part of the city that, if not exactly run down, has sorely been in need of tlc in the form of modernisation and investment.
The matter of job creation is, of course, a critical bonus. We have already reported that the development is set to bring with it the proposed creation of more than 1,000 roles - and the ‘local jobs for local people’ announcement reported in today’s Yorkshire Evening Post is welcome indeed.
Leeds City Council, John Lewis and developers Hammerson have signed an ‘Employment and Skills Charter’ to ensure residents, including young people (especially young people?), have access to skills and training in retail and hospitality jobs .
‘Their overall aim is to support Leeds city’s aspiration of becoming a world class destination that attracts and delights customers, residents and visitors,’ a joint statement outlined.
Bold, confident and optimistic words have been spoken and we trust the three parties to hold firm to them.
What matters now is that the people of Leeds see this charter in action. We look forward to the day we can publish a sea of happy faces - all new Victoria gate employees ready for their first day at work.