Major jobs opportunity in shopping centre expansion plans

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PLANS have been revealed for a major expansion of one of the region’s biggest shopping centres in a move which could create hundreds of jobs.

The proposed scheme at the White Rose centre in Leeds includes a cinema, new restaurants and cafes and more shops, including extensions to the existing Debenhams and Primark stores.

Land Centre Securities, which owns and manages the site near Morley, is expected to submit a planning application later this year. The company says if its plans are approved by councillors, they will bring hundreds of new jobs adding to the 3,500 people already employed at the centre.

The firm’s portfolio director Gerald Jennings said: “Since its opening in March 1997, White Rose has proved extremely successful, attracting up to 13 million shoppers a year and providing employment for thousands of people. These improvements will add to the vibrancy of White Rose and contribute to its future success, while ensuring that the centre remains competitive and continues to provide employment opportunities.

“This investment, combined with the £350m that we are investing in Trinity Leeds in the city centre, is designed to strengthen the city’s overall retail and leisure offer.”

National planning policy dictates a “city centre first” approach to new shopping development and Mr Jennings acknowledged the application faces a challenge.

But he added: “The White Rose is already a well-established location and in the current climate more jobs and economic activity is important.”

The proposals will be on display at an exhibition at Morley Town Hall from 11am and 8pm on September 14 and at the White Rose centre from 10am to 5pm on September 15