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Shoppers give their verdict as The Springs in Thorpe Park hosts opening celebration

The Springs in Thorpe Park is celebrating its opening from 10am to 4pm today with activities and entertainment.
The Springs in Thorpe Park is celebrating its opening from 10am to 4pm today with activities and entertainment.

Shoppers have been sharing their first impressions of Leeds’ newest retail park.

The Springs at Thorpe Park has been celebrating its opening today with giveaways and activities.

One hundred goodie bags were given out to early-bird visitors, with food stalls each handing out free meals to the first 50 customers.

A stilt-walker, magician and balloon artist entertained families, while children could also get glitter tattoos or face-painting.

READ MORE: What the shops have in store as they open at The Springs

Mark and Helen Cummins, of Scholes, had brought along daughter Lily, six. Mr Cummins said the Odeon cinema, opening early next year, “is going to be the biggie for us”, adding: “The only other thing we might want is more toy-shop type things.”

Karen Nicklin, who had travelled there from Colton with nine-year-old daughter Freya, said the shops had been much-needed in the area and she particularly welcomed the arrival of retailers TK Maxx and H&M.

She said the planned new restaurants would be great for the area, adding: “We are looking forward to the cinema coming in January.”

Estate manager Ian Kaye said the atmosphere so far had been fantastic.

He said: “The team have worked very hard to get this.

READ MORE: How new retail park The Springs got its name

“It has taken almost 20 years to get to this stage and it’s something that people at this side of Leeds needed.

“Before, they had to go to York or the centre of Leeds. It’s been missing from this side of Leeds.”

Mr Kaye said the opening meant a lot to him as he had been brought up in the area.

As a child he used to ride his bike on the land where the shops now stood, he said.

He said: “This used to be my playground.

"It is fantastic for this side of Leeds. I’m really pleased with it. The developers have done a fantastic job.”

READ MORE: Here's when Gino d'Acampo's new My Restaurant in East Leeds will open

So far, retailers including Boots, TK Maxx and H&M have opened their doors, as well as a Nando's, an M&S Foodhall and an Outfit bringing together Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis.

River Island, Next and Costa are also due to open soon.

A PureGym opens at the retail park on Wednesday, Gino d'Acampo's My Restaurant opens later this month and a 10-screen Odeon cinema opens early next year.