Work has started on a new 7,000 square metre Next store at the city’s Marsh Mills Gateway retail park.
Over 150 jobs will be created as the multi-million pound project, which once complete, will strengthen the city’s position as a regional shopping destination.
The brownfield site, which was recently acquired by Plymouth City Council, has been empty for many years and the project was pre-let to Next in December 2016.
The new development will comprise one of the retail giants new ‘Home’ format stores which combines fashion, furniture, homewares, garden centre and a café. A number of similar stores have been developed in High Wycombe, Hedge End, Hull and Handforth Dean.
Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader of Plymouth City Council said: “This is a redundant site being brought back into use, providing retail jobs as well as training opportunities along with construction jobs during the build period.
“Not only will it boost the city’s economy and jobs market, it will generate over £200,000 a year in net income (after all costs) to the Council, which will help towards paying for frontline services.
“This is a great example of a public / private partnership, with our city and our residents benefitting directly and indirectly from this deal.”
The project will provide employment on the site for the first time in over ten years. As well as creating jobs and rent for the Council, it will also bring circa £300,000 in business rates a year.
The Council is working hard to promote the city’s retail offer and acted as an enabler for the development. As part of the planning negotiations around the project, there is an obligation for Next to continue trading within their city centre store at Drake Circus for at least 10 years.
The Council has invested in the site as part of a long-term strategy to generate a substantial income stream as well as encourage jobs and business opportunities which will benefit the residents of Plymouth.
The Council were advised by external Chartered Surveyors Savills in the acquisition.
Cromwell Property Group, the global real estate investment manager, the developer of the site, Simon Marriott, Head of Investment & UK Real Estate at Cromwell Property Group, said: “We have been working hand in hand with Next on the design and planning consent for this development.
“Next’s Home concept stores call for a very high build quality and a specification that is tailored to each location. We are very pleased that together we are now able to proceed within the agreed planning and financial parameters, which include an obligation for Next to continue trading within their city centre store at Drake Circus for at least 10 years.”