SCOTLAND’S largest Next store is to be built on the outskirts of Edinburgh, it emerged today.
Bosses at Straiton Retail Park, near Loanhead, have unveiled plans for the new centre and say it has already been pre-let to the retail giant.
Building work has begun on site, with the 80,000sq ft store – about the same size as a football pitch – set to open in June.
Once completed, it will become the largest Next store in Scotland and one of the biggest out-of-town units in the UK.
The scheme will create 110 jobs for the local area and offer a range of ladieswear, menswear, home and children’s clothing, plus a click and collect service.
Developers have hailed the project as “transformational” and said it would provide a major economic boost to the region.
Mark Whittaker, group property director at Peel Land and Property, the firm behind the plans, said: “The continued investment, development and focus on design progression at Straiton has enabled Peel and Next to exchange contracts to deliver what will become the largest Next store in Scotland. Peel has for the last five years been working hard on repositioning Straiton and we are delighted that we are now in a position to announce this truly transformational deal.
“Benefiting from its strategic central position on the city of Edinburgh bypass, with retailers reporting exceptional like-for-like sales growth, we feel Straiton is perfectly placed to position itself firmly in the upper tier of the UK retail hierarchy, bringing significant economic benefits to the wider Edinburgh area.”
Peel bosses said Next would occupy a fully refurbished and redeveloped store, strategically anchoring one end of the recently remodelled and upgraded upper terrace, and improving access to Sainsbury’s, Costco and Ikea.
There will also be a complete overhaul of the Straiton Road frontage, with developers hoping this will enhance the visibility and prominence of the scheme.
Developers said the new project means Next will have increased its gross floor space from its original 15,000sq ft store in the retail park to 80,000sq ft over a three-year period. They said this was a sign of the growing appeal of Straiton, which attracts more than six million visitors a year.
Mr Whittaker said he was determined to secure further growth. “We will now continue the exceptional momentum we have generated and focus on bringing more exciting retail and leisure providers to the park, developing our unbuilt planning consent and delivering our business plan.”