Developers have finally unveiled plans for one of York’s most talked about schemes, which will create thousands of jobs and inject millions of pounds into York’s economy.
The £90 million commercial property will include a 120,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer and a 100,000 sq ft John Lewis store, which would be the company’s first John Lewis commercial property in York. The two huge stores will be surrounded by 244,000 sq ft of retail units and shops. Away from the retail side, the development will also include a community stadium for York City Knights and York City FC.
Speaking of John Lewis’s move to York, Andy Street, Managing Director, stated: “There is a huge potential, and a clear demand from customers, for John Lewis to expand into more key locations in the UK.
“Our new format shops allow us to forge ahead with our growth plans to introduce John Lewis branches and our full-line assortment to cities and towns like York.”
During the creation of the commercial property, around 275 construction jobs will be created. But once the structure is complete, around 1000 permanent jobs will be available, which will give local people who are currently struggling to find work a welcome boost. In addition to the employment opportunities, the retail complex and community stadium will inject approximately £12 million per year into the local economy.
Speaking of the scheme, Richard France, Managing Director of Oakgate, the developers behind the plans, said: “John Lewis has given York a massive vote of confidence in what is a challenging time for retail.
“Its participation in our proposed scheme will enable a new community stadium and facilities to be built for the people of York, whilst bringing the best retail the UK has to offer to add to the already immensely diverse shopping experience the City provides.
“This high quality development will bring a range of high quality local jobs across an extremely wide spectrum – something that should be welcomed by all.”
The currently stadium, Huntington, which is home to both York City FC and York City Knights, will be demolished to make way for the new community stadium which will be able to hold 6000 spectators. As well as the sports stadium, facilities at the commercial property will include a learning centre, outpatient service for the NHS and an institute for community sport.
What do you think of the plans? Will you be visiting the new John Lewis store in York when it opens?