CRESCENT Link Retail Park in Derry has today announced plans for a £5 million investment project.
This will include 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 for the residents of Derry.
It is estimated that this significant investment will lead to the creation of 110 jobs within the City.
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.
The M&S Foodhall has been a very popular destination since it opened in 2007 at Crescent Link and the new expanded store will sell high quality fresh food, from fruit and vegetables, to meat, fish and poultry and fresh bread from its in-store bakery.
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.”
Matthew Beddow of David Samuel Properties, said: “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, 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 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 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.”