The Food Warehouse is to open an outlet at the Crescent Link Retail Park.
The owners of the Crescent Link Retail Park in Derry have said that a new £5m investment will help address traffic problems at the site.
The park opened in 2007 and has been a big success.
However, users of the park and local residents have consistently complained about traffic access into and out of the park.
The owners of the park, David Samuel Properties, today announced details of a major new investment project at the facility.
This will see the proposed expansion of the M&S Foodhall, the resizing and improvement of the Homebase store, the introduction of a new retailer, The Food Warehouse by Iceland, and the improvement of the car park to enhance accessibility and alleviate congestion.
The park owners estimate that his significant investment will lead to the creation of 110 jobs.
The refurbishment of two large retail units includes the creation of additional parking spaces, a new exit lane from the south car park and improved pedestrian links.
A community consultation will begin in the coming weeks.
Matthew Beddow of David Samuel Properties, welcomed the new investment.
“The M&S at Crescent Link has been popular for over 10 years now and we are excited to welcome both the expanded M&S Foodhall and The Food Warehouse to Derry-Londonderry, as well as Homebase committing to a resized store.
“These are well-established and popular brands which will support a combined 110 jobs.
“This announcement comes at a challenging time for the retail sector as it comes to terms with the increase in online shopping and the recovery from the impact of the coronavirus.
“This investment demonstrates the confidence in Derry-Londonderry of these powerful brands as a place for investment at an important moment for its economic growth.
“We have plans in place for a significant regeneration of the scheme, including the car park and public realm space, which will see a new exit created and an increase in parking spaces, to make this a handy destination for shoppers to choose.
“We are committed to Derry-Londonderry and to addressing parking and traffic in the retail park that we know have concerned residents for a number of years.
“We are in negotiations with a number of other retailers and look forward to making more positive announcements soon.”
A spokesperson for M&S said: “We’re really excited about the plans for the expanded M&S Foodhall in Crescent Link which will mean we can offer an even wider range of M&S Food products.
“Along with our Foyleside store in the city centre, the new Foodhall will give local customers access to a great choice of M&S products across our Food, Clothing and Home departments.”
A spokesperson for The Food Warehouse, which is part of Iceland Foods, said: “The Food Warehouse was formed in 2014 and has very much been designed to complement our traditional high street and city centre stores.
“The new store will create 25 new jobs across a range of roles that will be filled by local residents as is the case with our other stores across Northern Ireland.”
Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton welcomed the plans for the local retail park.
“This is a significant investment for the Waterside and wider Londonderry area. In the current challenging environment, the creation of an additional 110 jobs is very welcome news. This investment will provide an economic boost to the North West. The new stores will increase consumer choice in the area.
"As many of the customers of Crescent Link will know, there have been parking and traffic issues on the site over recent years. I believe the creation of a new exit and increased parking spaces will go some way to address these concerns.”
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Martina Anderson said: “This is a good news story for the Waterside area and retail sector in Derry. There is no hiding the fact these are extremely challenging times for all businesses in our city due to Covid so to see a £5 million investment at the Crescent Link Retail Park is a very positive development.
“This will both help create and sustain much needed local jobs.
“A number of the units will see a major refurbishment along with new car parking spaces, a new exit lane from the south car park along with improved pedestrian links.
“There have been issues at this retail park over the years in relation to traffic congestion so its welcome that the company behind the investment have said a community consultation will begin in the coming weeks.
"It’s important the views of the local community are taken on board and we get this right for everyone involved from the outset."
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