LEADING furniture and homeware retailer Ikea has today announced plans for a £60 million new store in Sheffield – creating up to 700 jobs.
The Swedish giant has earmarked the former Betafence and Tinsley Wire site on Sheffield Road, Tinsley, next to Meadowhall Retail Park, for a 37,000 sq metres store.
The firm is now seeking the views of the public before submitting a planning application to Sheffield Council in the summer.
If approved, it is hoped the store could be built and open within three years.
Ian Nicholson, Ikea Sheffield project manager, said: “We are excited about the prospect of bringing Ikea to Sheffield.
“We want to invest in Sheffield, bringing a new store. It’s the biggest city in the UK without an Ikea. We don’t have anything in South Yorkshire.
“An Ikea store in Sheffield will be a major boost to the whole city, not just in terms of jobs, but also by adding to the whole retail offer.
“We believe it will make Sheffield an even more attractive shopping destination.”
He said Ikea had identified South Yorkshire as a potential site more than a decade ago.
Mr Nicholson said: “We have been looking for a site in South Yorkshire for many years now, as currently our customers in this area have to travel quite far to either Leeds or Nottingham to shop with us.
Discussions with Sheffield Council identified a number of possible locations, including St Mary’s Gate, but these were all rejected as unsuitable, before the Sheffield Road site was chosen.
Paul Jacobs, Ikea real estate manager for UK and Ireland, said: “The council came up with 12 sites, but none were big enough.”
The site would see a two-storey store built over a 1,000-space surface car park. It would also include a restaurant, children’s play areas and associated highways works.
Ikea said the £60m development would create about 200 jobs during construction and 400 jobs in-store, with another 75 to 100 jobs in associated positions such as maintenance and a creche.
Mr Nicholson said: ““We are investing more than £60 million in a key gateway store into Sheffield.
“It’s a significant investment to regenerate an unsightly site, creating more than 400 local jobs and a boost to the local economy.
“It strengthens the city’s retail offering as rival cities improve.”
For details, see www.ikea.co.uk/sheffield