Work has begun on a £36m South Yorkshire retail park that will create more than 300 jobs across 11 shops.
Sheffield contractor JF Finnegan has started demolition work as it prepares to build the 120,000sq ft Cortonwood Shopping Park, off the A6195 in Rotherham.
Project developer Helical Retail has already signed up leading national retailers to 10 of the 11 units, all of whom are new to the area.
They are M&S, JD Sports, River Island, H&M, New Look, Arcadia, Poundland, CJ Clarke, Wilkinson and Frankie & Benny’s.
The new development is an extension to the existing Cortonwood Retail Park.
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Helical Retail’s Adrian Russell said: “Our aspirations for a new retail development to enhance the existing offering at Cortonwood have been long awaited by the local residents and we are delighted to have now reached the stage where work is starting on site.
“By attracting new retailers to the area, the scheme is bringing significant capital investment and new jobs to the locality in addition to adding to the vibrancy of an already successful retail destination. We appointed JF Finnegan due to their historic involvement with Cortonwood and their strong reputation and are looking forward to seeing work progress on site.”
Before construction can start, a vacant 150,000sq ft warehouse formerly occupied by UPS must be knocked down. JF Finnegan will then begin site preparation works ready for the development of the 11 new shops, which should be ready to open by autumn 2017.
The contract continues JF Finnegan’s long-standing involvement at the former colliery site, having built all previous phases over the last 20 years. Occupiers at the existing retail park include B&Q, Morrisons, Next, Argos, Asda Living and Boots.
Head of pre-construction at JF Finnegan Dawa Singh said: “Over the years we have witnessed the transformation of Cortonwood into one of the region’s most acclaimed regeneration projects and shopping destinations.
“We have been working alongside Helical Retail and their Project Managers PMS (Wessex) Limited for some time to develop the plans for the new extension which will ensure the continued success of the development. Our teams are now undertaking preparatory works on site.”