Positive impact of £30m shops in Keighley, says 'rival' complex boss (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Positive impact of £30m shops in Keighley, says 'rival' complex boss
A planned £30 million shopping centre will have a “positive” impact on a town, according to the boss of a rival shopping complex.
Steve Seymour, manager of the Airedale Centre, in Keighley town centre, said the planned Worth Valley Shopping Centre, on East Parade, would “add assets” that the town does not currently have. Mr Seymour said he believed the two centres would benefit each other, attracting more shoppers to the town and encouraging them to stay longer. And he said major retailers were interested in opening shops on both sites as the economy improved.
He said: “There’s a lot of interest in Keighley. It’s a town on the up as far as we're concerned.”
Mr Seymour spoke as the company behind the Worth Valley complex outlined progress on the project. The Telegraph & Argus reported last week that developer Stainsby Grange was close to signing deals with two national retailers. Once the flagship store chains are on board then other retailers are expected to quickly follow suit and building work will start.
When the Worth Valley Shopping Centre was first proposed in 2011, the Airedale Centre’s then owners objected because they felt it was a retail park that would suck shoppers away from the existing town centre. Mr Seymour said he now supported the plans, because they had been changed to include a cinema and well-known restaurant chains.
He said: “If we can bring leisure and national food retailers to the town, then it can only be positive. It will add assets that the town doesn’t have. People currently have to go to Bradford and Leeds. It will bring more shoppers to Keighley for longer.”
Mr Seymour said he knew from his own contacts that national companies were looking at opening branches in Keighley. He said: “Interest is very positive. The market place is improving but it’s not improving as quickly as we want.”
The Airedale Centre has its own long-term plans for development, extending three existing shop units – between Argos and Game – into the former Laycock’s mill building that runs parallel with North Street.