Victoria shopping centre in Leeds enhances Yorkshire’s reputation as a major shopping destination

PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:28 17 November 2016

The newly opened Victoria shopping centre has welcomed more than one million people

The newly opened Victoria shopping centre has welcomed more than one million people

© Giles Rocholl Photography Ltd 2016

Crowds head for the largest shopping centre in northern England which has opened in Leeds.

Victoria, Leeds is the largest retail development to open in the UK this yearVictoria, Leeds is the largest retail development to open in the UK this year

More than one million people have passed through the doors of the Victoria shopping centre in Leeds within a month of opening. The centre is the only major retail scheme to launch in the UK this year and had already seen more than half a million people arrive within days of opening in mid-October. The £165 million scheme owned by retail developer Hammerson and includes the latest John Lewis department store to open, is next to the Victoria Quarter arcade and together the two sites form the new 53,400m2 Victoria Leeds shopping destination. This makes it is the largest premium retail and leisure venue in northern England, moving Leeds up to third in the UK’s best place to shop retail rankings.

James Bailey, general manager of Victoria Leeds, said: ‘We’re delighted to have welcomed so many new and existing shoppers to Victoria Leeds. Victoria Quarter has always been a fantastic shopping destination for the North and with the addition of Victoria Gate, the appeal is broader than ever before. People are flocking in from the local area and beyond and the feedback has been incredibly positive. Our one millionth shopper visit is a huge milestone for us and hopefully will be the first of many.’

Meanwhile detailed plans have been submitted for a £300 million extension of Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre. The proposed Leisure Hall at the South Yorkshire centre would create up to 1,400 jobs and includes a new cinema, restaurants, gym and new community spaces.

Joint owner British Land said the extension would ‘continue Meadowhall’s evolution’. The plans, part of a five-year vision to extend the leisure offer at Meadowhall, include:

John Lewis opens its latest department store in Victoria, LeedsJohn Lewis opens its latest department store in Victoria, Leeds

an ‘elegant glazed roof’ to ‘add dining and entertainment options not currently available at Meadowhall’

new internal and external spaces for events and community use

improved accessibility and parking, new pedestrian walkways, electric car charge points and cycle lanes

a new multi-storey car park with ‘green walls’ to aid biodiversity

Shoppers make their way throught the centreShoppers make their way throught the centre

a replacement cinema, with solar panels on the roof to provide around 10 per cent of the extension’s energy consumption

At least 540 jobs would be created during construction, in addition to 1,400 new jobs once the leisure hall is complete. Sheffield City Council is expected to make a decision on the application in spring.

This time last year the long-awaited £260 million Broadway retail destination in Bradford opened. The Westfield development created 2,500 new retail jobs and was the largest retail centre in the country to open in 2015. The Broadway features leading department and fashion stores, including anchors Marks & Spencer and Debenhams. The Broadway includes a seven-unit food court with a range of leading restaurants.

Victoria, Leeds is ready for Christmas shoppersVictoria, Leeds is ready for Christmas shoppers

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