Jobs boost as £30m revamp planned for Junction One retail park
One of Northern Ireland's best-known out-of-town retail developments is to get a £30 million facelift, creating up to 500 jobs.
Plans to revamp Junction One, on the outskirts of Antrim, include a new boulevard, rearranging existing shops and attracting bigger brands, according to owner The Lotus Group.
Alastair Coulson, asset and property management director with the Co-Down-based company, said: "This is fantastic news for the Antrim area.
"We are going to bring forward more jobs for local people and more opportunities in terms of retail management skills training, not to mention extra construction jobs in the redevelopment phase."
In April, The Lotus Group and real-estate management firm Tristan Capital Partners acquired Junction One and The Outlet in Banbridge for £40 million and pledged to reinvigorate both sites.
It is claimed that almost 475 jobs will be created during the operational phase of the major project, with an increased wage bill of £8.4 million contributing £17.6 million to the local economy.
An additional 430 jobs are also expected in the construction phase.
Once complete, the shopping complex will include a significant number of new and well-known leisure and retail brands, The Lotus Group said.
Mr Coulson added: "When we bought Junction One, we inherited a retail park that was neglected for a number of years and suffered from a lack of investment.
"Our experienced team saw the opportunity for a reinvigorated scheme and we are now working hard to bring bigger brands, better marketing and longer-term leasing for our high-profile tenants.
"We expect that further investment will be triggered off the back of this redevelopment and indirect benefits will be numerous for the local supply chain and local area.
"This investment will bring Junction One back to its former prominence and make it a top-performing retail destination anywhere on these islands."