Food store Co-op is set to be the first store to move into Bingley’s 5Rise shopping centre as the £5 million development nears its final construction stages.

The 12,000 square foot convenience store is expected to be open to customers by the end of the year after 4Urban, the developers behind the scheme, handed the completed shop over to The Co-operative Group for it to be fitted out, the developers announced yesterday.

It is one of eight retailers that have made a commitment to 5Rise, which is being built on the site of the Myrtle Walk Shopping Centre.

Three more occupiers will soon be announced meaning that 5Rise could be 80 per cent let when it opens following the project’s completion at the end of this month.

Richard Holmes, Development Director for 4Urban said: “We are excited to be able to hand over to Co-operative for fit out of its new store.

“This is a major milestone for us and the people of Bingley and with the finishing touches being made we expect the centre to be open in a matter of weeks.

“We are in advanced negotiations with a number of high street retailers and feel confident that 5Rise will become fully let soon.

“As a company 4Urban is passionate about regeneration, innovation and always delivering on our promises which is what we have achieved in Bingley.”

The scheme, which had a number of false starts under previous owners, is considered to be the most significant regeneration project in Bingley.

The existing steps from the high street have been demolished to provide a much more open pedestrian space with direct access to shops.

There is also an escalator and lift that connects to the lower level on Chapel Lane where the car park and new library are located and the centre has colourful cladding and glazing, making 5Rise a high street landmark.

Boots, NatWest, Greggs, Superdrug, Timpsons, Klick, and Betfred are already committed to the centre.

The Co-op will sell Fairtrade products as well as its own range of beauty products.

Peter Ryan, regional manager for The Co-operative Group said: “This handover marks a key stage in the development of Bingley’s new Co-operative food store and our long standing relationship with the town.

“We look forward to providing our much valued customers with an enhanced shopping service which will meet all the daily grocery needs of the community.”