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Planning approval for Victoria Gate project

International development company Hammerson has received planning approval for its £130 million Victoria Gate project in Leeds.Announced on Friday (September 27th), the go ahead for the scheme was awarded by Leeds City Council as part of ambitious plans for the creation of a new 37,000 sq ft retail centre in the heart of the city.Getting underway in spring next year, phase one of the development - previously known as Eastgate Quarters - will house more than 30 retailers once complete and will provide a major boost to the local economy.In addition, the project is expected to deliver around 2,700 construction jobs during the building phase and employment for up to 1,500 individuals in retail positions when finished.An initial opening date of autumn 2016 has been set for Victoria Gate by the developer.Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development councillor Richard Lewis said: "The scheme will help regenerate that area of the city centre and will complement the well-established Victoria Quarter and the brand new Trinity Leeds to further enhance the exceptional retail offer in the city."Victoria Gate will also mean the creation of hundreds of new jobs to help local people and I look forward to seeing work get underway on site in the coming months to bring this development to reality."The project will feature a striking facade that draws on the city's rich heritage within the fabrics sector, while it will also become home to a new flagship John Lewis store that will link to the existing Victoria Quarter.An elegantly-designed two-street arcade will connect the old and new properties at the site, while plans also include provisions for the development of a new multi-storey car park for in excess of 800 vehicles.Hammerson director of retail development Robin Dobson added the decision to grant approval for the scheme from Leeds City Council is a major step towards bringing the project to fruition, with the development aiming to reaffirm Leeds as a destination for top-shelf brands and retail opportunities anywhere in the UK. 

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