One of the worst-kept secrets in Birmingham was made public today with the news of a new flagship John Lewis department store as part of the New Street station development.
The £100 million project will see the new John Lewis shop constructed on the south side of a redeveloped New Street station, creating 900 new jobs for the wider economy, including 650 jobs at the store. The project will also include the upgrade of the Pallasades Shopping Centre.
The investment is a major boost for Birmingham and demonstrates the impact of the Birmingham Gateway project which will redevelop New Street station and Birmingham City Council’s Big City Plan in providing the framework for major investment decisions.
The 250,000 sq ft shop, scheduled to open in 2014, will be one of the largest John Lewis department stores outside London. Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council said: “I am delighted. We have been working to secure their presence in the city for over two years now. Not only will their presence bring 900 new jobs, and create an extra £100 million of investment, it will enhance what is already a spectacular new development of New Street station.”
Managing Director John Lewis Andy Street, said, “We are pleased to play our part in the regeneration of Birmingham city centre. This project fulfils John Lewis’s longstanding ambition to bring our unique retail and employment offer to Birmingham.”
The development of the south side of the New Street Gateway is also a key element of Birmingham’s Big City Plan, as it will open up access and economic growth to a large area to the south of the station, which has long been neglected in the city centre’s development.
David Higgins, the Chief Executive Officer of Network Rail, said: “This project is about much more than simply redeveloping the station. Today’s deal is a further sign that our plans are critical to the long term success of the city and will create new jobs and help stimulate economic growth. ”