Shopping centre to add cinema

Proposals to expand Leeds’ White Rose Shopping Centre and build a new 12-screen cinema have been approved by planning chiefs.

The plans, which also include extensions to the existing Primark and Debenhams stores, additional restaurants and a new car park for employees, are expected to create about 1,000 jobs and 195 construction jobs.

The blueprint, which was approved by the city plans panel, includes an employment strategy that focuses on recruiting staff from nearby areas of high unemployment such as Middleton, Belle Isle, Beeston and Holbeck.

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Bus services to these areas are also expected to be improved to cope with the increased demand.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said: “I welcome this scheme taking shape and the significant benefits it will bring, particularly much-needed job opportunities in construction and retail and improved transport links.

Coun Gruen added: “This is good news for the whole city but particularly for residents in the south Leeds area.”

Members of the panel approved the expansion of the site, subject to negotiations with the developer about contributions towards the cost of traffic improvements in the vicinity.

A report presented to the planners said letters of support has indicated that the new cinema was a “much-needed facility”.