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Will Victoria Gate make Leeds rise up the national retail rankings?

PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 March 2014 | UPDATED: 01:44 24 October 2015

An artist impression of the new John Lewis store

An artist impression of the new John Lewis store

Archant

Is Leeds set to become a retail powerhouse?

VQ, LeedsVQ, Leeds

Leeds could never be accused of resting on its laurels when it comes to retail progress.

As Trinity – the city’s latest one million square foot shopping complex – celebrates its first anniversary, work is already underway on a new £120 million retail destination just a few minutes’ walk away in Eastgate.

The opening of Victoria Gate, scheduled for autumn 2016, will bring John Lewis to Leeds for the first time, linking it with the city’s iconic Victoria Quarter via an elegant two-street arcade packed with stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities.

The first phase will see more than 8,500 construction staff working on the city centre site, with around 1,500 retail and hospitality jobs on offer when the development opens.

Inside the Victoria Quarter shopping arcadeInside the Victoria Quarter shopping arcade

‘Victoria Gate is set to entice premium retailers who want to encourage shoppers in the highly affluent surrounding areas of Leeds such as Harrogate, Ilkley and York in to the city,’ said Robin Dobson, director of retail development at Hammerson, the company behind the scheme.

‘On completion of Victoria Gate, and following the completion of Trinity Leeds last year, it’s expected that Leeds will rise in the retail rankings.’

The development looks set to be an exciting addition to the already vibrant shopping scene in Leeds, which also includes Trinity, Kirkgate Market, the Corn Exchange, The Light and the ever-popular Victoria Quarter.

The company behind the ambitious scheme, retail specialist Hammerson, which also successfully delivered Birmingham’s Bullring and Brent Cross in North London, sees Victoria Gate as a natural extension to Leeds’ Victoria Quarter, which it bought in 2012.

Outside the Victoria QuarterOutside the Victoria Quarter

‘The first phase of Victoria Gate will capture the heritage of Victoria Quarter, which is anchored by Harvey Nichols and is home to leading luxury designers including Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Vivienne Westwood,’ said Robin.

‘The aim is to attract premium and aspirational retailers and we’re currently in discussions with companies in the hope of securing a swathe of firsts for the city.’

With a history spanning more than 100 years, and a world-record holding stained glass roof which spans the full length of Queen Victoria Street, the Victoria Quarter has been transformed in recent years into one of the most elegant shopping destinations in the north of England.

‘Our purchase of the Victoria Quarter, which is home to the likes of The White Company, Space NK, Jigsaw, The Kooples, LK Bennett, baby outfitters Cootchie Coo, jewellery designer W Hammond and all manner of unique boutiques, echoes our commitment to build on the luxury and aspirational offer in the city by combining it with the Victoria Gate development,’ explained Robin.

‘The scheme will also help to drive footfall to the Eastgate area of Leeds, impacting positively on local businesses and Kirkgate market.

‘Restoring this part of the city will give the market an opportunity to flourish, showcasing its diversity, character and history to consumers who will be visiting the scheme.’

For more information about the Victoria Quarter, visit v-q.co.uk. You can also keep up-to-date on progress at Victoria Gate by clicking on victoriagate.co.uk.

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