Building work is to start to transform Lancaster’s former market hall into a Primark store.
Allied Lancaster Limited, owners of the Marketgate Shopping Centre, announced this week that work is due to begin in mid-September.
The store is scheduled to open in early 2015.
The new, custom designed, 50,000 sq ft anchor store will occupy the site of the former market hall, along with parts of Gillison’s Lane.
The existing Common Garden Street walkway will be re-aligned and an additional new walkway is to be built from Golden Ball Lane through to Market Gate.
A new store frontage is to form a prominent feature within Corn Market.
David Goodman, Allied Lancaster Limited chief executive officer, said: “I am proud and convinced that this exciting and new 50,000 sq ft store will dramatically improve Lancaster’s retail landscape as well as substantially increasing the footfall and spend within the city centre.
“Lancaster will additionally benefit through the creation of new full and part time employment opportunities.
“Marketgate Shopping Centre continues to evolve as the true heart of the city centre.
“Working closely with our building contractor, we will endeavour to ensure minimal disruption to our customers and retailers, whilst these exciting and essential works take place.”
Allied said they will give regular updates to keep shoppers informed of progress and provide directions for any temporary diversions to Marketgate Shopping Centre pedestrian access.
More than 200 full and part-time jobs will be created as part of multi-million pound plans to bring the budget clothing giant to Lancaster.
Allied (Lancaster) Limited, the owners of Marketgate Shopping Centre since January 2008, said the chain will become the city’s largest retail store at 50,000 sq ft.
The market hall was handed over to Allied by the city council last year, costing taxpayers £13m to surrender the 99-year building lease and in compensation to traders.
Darren Sharpe, director of Allied Freehold Property Trust Ltd, said: “The new store will dramatically improve the retail landscape in Lancaster city centre.
“It will benefit the whole of the city centre, not just Marketgate Shopping Centre, and will stem the leakage from the city.
“A store of this size will create both permanent and part-time employment opportunities and substantially increase the footfall and spend throughout the whole city centre.”
Mr Goodman, who is the son of the late shopping centre developer and visionary Everard Goodman, added: “This prestigious and significant new development to Lancaster’s retail offer will benefit both Lancaster as a destination as well as the people of Lancaster as a whole.”