Work to start on 1,000-job Flemingate shopping park in Beverley
WORK is to start soon on a major new retail and entertainment complex that will create 1,000 jobs in Beverley.
Tenders have been invited for the first phase of the construction contract for the commercial development at the £120m regeneration site near Beverley Minster.
It will be the largest development of its kind in the town, creating an estimated 300 jobs during construction and more than 700 permanent jobs once the scheme is complete.
Planning consent is in place for shops, restaurants, bars, a cinema, a hotel, offices and a college campus at the former factory and museum site in Flemingate.
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Work is already under way on 130 homes at the site, with work on the commercial phase expected to get under way this autumn.
The commercial area is being developed by Hull firm Wykeland Group and Quintain Estates and Development PLC, of London.
Wykeland's managing director, Dominic Gibbons, said: "After a planning process that has taken more than seven years to successfully complete, we are now entering a very exciting phase in the development.
"The residential part of the scheme has progressed extremely well and the level of retailer and operator interest is very positive with a number of further transactions now in solicitors' hands."
Despite the difficult economic conditions, the developers say interest from the UK's retail sector has been very good, particularly since the granting of detailed planning consent by East Riding Council last summer.
Debenhams is lined up to be the anchor retailer with a 40,000sq ft unit at the 16-acre site.
Premier Inn has been signed up to operate an 80-bed hotel on the site and a new multi-screen cinema complex is set to be operated by Parkway Cinemas.
The contract for the main access road to the commercial development has recently been let to Melton contractor CR Reynolds.
Ward councillor Kerri Harold hailed the next phase of work as a major boost for the local economy.
She said: "I am very pleased it finally looks like we are getting some employment on there.
"It has been a long while now since the site was cleared to make way for new development and the people of Beverley have been asking when it was going to happen.
"It was pledged they would try to use local labour on the development, that gives us a big boost for the economy.
"Hopefully, lots of local people will get jobs there."
Cllr Harold claimed the retail and entertainment complex would enhance Beverley.
She said: "It will enhance the offer we have in Beverley, both in the daytime and the night-time economy. We have a vibrant town centre and this will complement that. We don't want to overpower and swamp the town centre.
"This is within walking distance and will not damage the look or feel of Beverley as a market town.
"Visitors will be able to park in the proposed multi- storey car park at the Flemingate site and use all of the town's facilities and services."
Cllr Harold will now urge the council's planning committee to approve housing plans for East Riding College's site so it can relocate to a new campus proposed at Flemingate.
She said: "It is imperative we get the college on board at Flemingate. It is an important part of that development."