The Range to open new store at Connswater creating 80 new jobs

By Clodagh Rice
Business Reporter, BBC News NI

Image source, MCE PR
Image caption,
Brendan Boyd, left, director of Alfred Street Properties and Gerry Monaghan, manager of Connswater shopping centre

Eighty jobs have been created by the new anchor tenant of Connswater shopping centre in east Belfast.

Homeware chain, The Range, which has more than 140 stores across the UK and Ireland, is due to open its doors later this year.

The new store represents an investment of £2m by The Range, as well as a further £1m investment by the landlord.

There had been viability concerns about Connswater, after Tesco and Dunnes Stores closed in 2015.

Speaking when Dunnes announced its decision to pull out, Glyn Roberts of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association said: "With Tesco closing its store, the centre will soon have lost both its anchor stores which puts its long-term viability at risk."

Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park is owned by Alfred Street Properties.

Director Brendan Boyd said the announcement was "great news not only for the scheme but for east Belfast and the local economy as well".

"The Range's arrival is further confirmation that the scheme has turned a corner," he added.

This is the latest in a series of investments in the retail park - Starbucks and Lidl opened earlier this year and Home Bargains is set to open in December.

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