SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is planning to open a city centre superstore and create 450 jobs.
Plans to build a Tesco Extra on the old Sainsbury’s site, on Ings Road, will go out to public consultation next week.
The new store will stock everything from food, and clothes to electrical goods.
Sainsbury’s left the site to move to Trinity Walk shopping centre in May
Tesco bosses said the store will create jobs for long-term unemployed people and that it will boost trade for all city centre businesses – despite its proximity to small retailers and competition from Trinity Walk.
Tesco corporate affairs manager Deborah Hayeems said: “We are at the pre-planning stage and we are very keen to hear what people think of the plans.
“We don’t currently have any superstores in Wakefield and we felt this was a great opportunity to bring a new shopping offer to the city.”
A public consultation event will held on Tuesday, when people can look at an exhibition on the proposals from 2pm to 8pm at the Quaker Meeting House on Thornhill Street, and again on Wednesday between 10am and 2pm.
Ms Hayeems said the new store could secure the future of Ings Road Retail Park, which had been looking for a new tenant since Sainsbury’s left.
She said: “It is a great site which is starting to look a bit tired. We definitely think there is demand at this side of the city centre.”
Tesco would team up with Job Centre Plus and other agencies to provide 40 per cent of the new jobs for long-term unemployed people. The plan also includes pedestrian walkways to the new store to provide access from the city centre on foot.
Ms Hayeems added: “We want to ensure that we are investing in a thriving city centre. This is an opportunity for other retailers to potentially move into the city centre.”
A planning application will be submitted to Wakefield Council on the proposal.