White Rose Centre reveals cinema expansion plan
A MASSIVE expansion plan has been revealed for the White Rose Centre which could see the building of a 10-screen cinema and four restaurants, along with the creation of hundreds of new jobs.
A planning application for a cinema, four new catering outlets and additional retail space, including extensions to the centre’s existing Debenhams and Primark stores, will be submitted to Leeds City Council later this year.
Land Securities, which owns and manages the centre, will seek permission for an additional 120,000 sq ft of retail space and 65,000 sq ft of leisure space at the 76-acre site.
If approved the expansion will bring hundreds of new jobs to south Leeds, adding to the 3,500 already employed at the centre.
Land Securities’ portfolio director Gerald Jennings, said: “Since its opening in March 1997, White Rose has proved extremely successful, attracting up to 13 million shoppers a year and providing employment for thousands of local people.
“An indication of the centre’s strong performance over the past 15 years is the fact that Debenhams, which has been at White Rose since the centre opened, is looking to increase its floorspace and Primark, which opened in 2006, also wishes to expand.
“If our planning application is approved, it will enable the expansion of both stores, see the introduction of new catering outlets and the opening of the only cinema in south Leeds, which will be a valuable amenity for the local community.
“These improvements will add to the vibrancy of White Rose and contribute to its future success, while ensuring that the centre remains competitive and continues to provide employment opportunities.
“This investment, combined with the £350 million that we are investing in Trinity Leeds in the city centre, is designed to strengthen the city’s overall retail and leisure offer.”
Morley councillors are backing the plans, which they were briefed on recently.
Coun Bob Gettings said: “The White Rose Centre has a good record of bringing new jobs to local communities.
“A recent study showed that many of those jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities came the way of Morley residents. I am encouraged to hear from the White Rose Centre that they are prepared to back their positive job creation record with a legal planning agreement to continue this work.”
The new proposals include a 10-screen cinema, new restaurants and expansion of some of the flagship stores.
Coun Judith Elliott said: “Land Securities, who run the White Rose Centre, have supported a strong partnership with Morley and Morley town centre.
“I am pleased this partnership will continue to thrive and local people will benefit from new job opportunities. The White Rose Centre is a local economic hub and in these difficult times we need these opportunities of jobs, apprenticeships and training options particularly for our young people. I hope we will see this new development as soon as possible.”
The proposals for the White Rose expansion will be on display at a public exhibition being held at the Alexandra Hall in Morley Town Hall between 11am and 8pm on Friday, September 14 and at the White Rose Shopping Centre from 10am-5pm on Saturday, September 15.
Mr Jennings, said: “We hope that as many people as possible visit the exhibition and give us their views as this will help us in shaping the planning application that we submit later this year.”
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