The Leekes home department store chain has secured a £25m re-financing deal that will be used in part to fund the opening of a new flagship store in Coventry this year.
The £6m, 130,000 sq ft outlet will be built on a site formerly occupied by Makro on the Gallagher Business Park, and will create over 200 new jobs. It is set to open in August.
Council planning permission was granted for the creation of the store, but because it was so big the application had to be referred to Communities Minister Eric Pickles, who has now approved the plans.
Family-run Leekes already has a furniture outlet in Bedworth, near Coventry, from which all staff will be relocated in due course. It also operates stores in Bilston, Stoke on Trent, Melksham, Cross Hands in Carmarthenshire, Llantrisant and Tonypandy,
In addition it runs Vale Resort in Wales, which it says will also benefit from the finance deal. The company, which is based in South Wales, has a turnover of £70m.
Managing director Emma Leeke said the Coventry store “represents the start of an exciting next chapter for our business in the Midlands”, adding that it was in a very convenient location, opposite the Ricoh Arena and close to the M6.
“Our purchase of the freehold for this site means that we’re making a long-term commitment to this area. We have a multi-million pound refurbishment budget for the old Makro where we plan to install kitchen, bathroom and conservatory studios.”