Work on Ikea’s new £60m Sheffield store can now begin as the final details have been signed off.
The last stumbling block on the plan to build the 31,500 sq m store close to the Meadowhall Retail Park, at the site of the former Betafence factory on Lock House Road, Carbrook, was a deal on road improvements with Sheffield Council.
But this has now been signed off, with the Highways Agency agreeing to let the council act as the overseeing authority for Junction 34 of the M1, the location of some of the road layout changes, which Ikea has agreed to pay for.
The work was a condition of the store going ahead - but as the condition has now been ‘discharged’, the matter does not need to go before councillors again, avoiding a further delay.
Contractors can now get on site and start work, with an opening date set for June next year.
Under the highways agreement between the council and the retailer, improvements will be made to the junction 34 roundabout, a new entrance to the Meadowhall Retail Park at the Attercliffe Common junction will be created and a new cycle route laid down between the new store and Arena Square. An access road leading to the new store’s car park will also be created off Sheffield Road.
The store, which is expected to create up to 700 jobs, including roles for 300 construction workers, was given conditional planning permission by councillors in June 2014.
The Government then gave the final go-ahead two months later.
Ikea, in partnership with Job Centre Plus, will launch the bulk of its recruitment process this December. It is understood about 350 jobs in various capacities will be advertised online.
It is envisaged that roughly 90 per cent of roles will go to people living in the surrounding area, and the long-term unemployed looking to get back to work.
The application process is set to take around eight weeks and staff would be working inside the store by February ahead of the official opening day.