MORE big names have signed up for Wakefield’s newest shopping centre which is now just a few months away from opening.
Developers revealed on Friday that one of Europe’s largest shoe-retailers Deichmann would have a store at the centre, together with fashion accessory giant Bijou Brigitte, greetings card retailer Clintons and coffee houses Esquires and Costa.
They also hinted at another two big names that are close to signing a deal.
The shopping centre will also have a 96,000 sq ft Debenhams and a 117,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s, alongside a whole host of fashion retailers like H&M, New Look, Next, River Island and Topshop and Burtons.
Other big names like Game, Menkind and Orange are also already signed up.
The 500,000 sq ft development is being delivered by Sovereign Land, AREA Property Partners and Shepherd Construction, who joined forces to save the project last year after work was halted in March, when developer Trinity Walk Wakefield Ltd, owned by Modus and CIREF, was refused further finance for the project by Anglo Irish Bank and went into administration.
Max La Frenais, director of Sovereign Land, said there have been no regrets.
He said: “Touch wood it’s everything we hoped it would be so far. We are delighted with how it’s shaping up.”
He stressed that the scheme had been kept as close to the original plans as possible with the only real change being a state of the art roof being added to the walkways.
He said: “We’ve not set a date yet but we’re aiming for the centre to open at the end of April, or early May.
“The council was keen for the layout of the scheme to stay the same, rather than down size it to just a supermarket and a couple of units, which was a real possibility at one stage.
“We wanted to build a proper shopping centre.”
Mr La Frenais said other well-known retailers were about to sign on the dotted line, and he was confident the Ridings Shopping Centre and Trinity Walk could complement each other.
He added: “We will have to work side by side. We are trying to get as many new retailers into the city as possible.
“Some are moving across to us from the Ridings but they will be replaced.”
Earlier this year, Barbara Winston, manager of the Ridings Shopping Centre, said they were prepared for what is to come and were in discussions with replacement tenants.