Queue outside doors as new shopping park opens for business

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HORDeS of shoppers headed to Yorkshire’s newest retail destination as it opened its doors yesterday.

John Lewis – opening only its second store in Yorkshire – Next and one of the region’s biggest Marks & Spencer stores are among the attractions at the Vangarde Shopping Park at Monks Cross on the outskirts of York.

Centre manager Deb O’Donnell said: “Today marks the opening of a brand new shopping destination that has created hundreds of new jobs and firmly puts York on the map as a creditable shopping destination in Yorkshire.”

The centre celebrated its opening by displaying giant fashion, homeware and food items in front of the retail units, including a huge handbag, shoe and chair.

Some 150 shoppers were waiting as John Lewis opened its doors. The retailer’s managing director, Andy Street, said: “York has long been a sought after location for us and we’re delighted to be able to expand our reach to customers across the region.”

The M&S store has a 60,000-litre tank which recycles rainwater and two green living walls designed to attract wildlife and retain heat. It is also part powered by 600 solar panels.

Store manager Hilary Wilkinson said: “It’s great to finally be able to welcome customers into the new store and show them what we have been working on.”

Among other retailers due to open at the site next month are restaurants including Giraffe, Costa Coffee, Nando’s and Frankie & Benny’s.

Council chiefs say more bus services will serve the Monks Cross park and ride but are warning motorists there could be delays in the area in the coming weeks, in particular on the outer ring road, Malton Road and other routes.