York & North Yorkshire

£15m John Lewis store in York to create 300 jobs

Retail chain John Lewis is to open a new £15m department store on the outskirts of York, creating 300 jobs.

The 100,000 sq ft (9,290 sq m) shop will be part of the Monks Cross complex, planned by developers Oakgate.

Marks and Spencer has already said it will open a big store at Monks Cross.

But rival developer, Centros, which plans to build a major shopping centre in the centre of York, said the size of the Monks Cross centre was in danger of causing "harm" to trade in the city.

'Viable scheme'

John Lewis said its new York store would "plug the gap" for shoppers in the city who would no longer have to travel to its stores in Sheffield and Newcastle.

Tim Harrison, from John Lewis, said Oakgate's plans for the Monks Cross centre were ideal.

"We have long wanted to have a presence in York, but have not been able to find a site or retail-led scheme which we felt was viable and deliverable within our time scales," he said.

James Alexander, Labour leader of York City Council, said he welcomed the retail chain's plan.

"I'm very pleased there's so much interest in our economy and very pleased they are interested in a commitment to York," he said.

However, Steve Bryson, from developers Centros, which is planning a 400,000 sq ft (37,161 sq m) shopping centre at Castle Piccadilly, York, said the extent of the plans for Monks Cross would have a "big impact" on city centre trade.

"The city centre is already leaking like a sieve and we don't want it to get any worse," he said.

John Lewis said its new store in York could be open as soon as Autumn 2013.

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