£4.32million investment for Dunstable's White Lion Retail Park
Central Bedfordshire Council has approved a planning application to refurbish Dunstable’s White Lion Retail Park – a move that will bring more than £4.32million of investment into the area, transform the town’s retail market and create more than 110 jobs.
After working with park owners Pradera, a revised section 106 agreement has been completed which will see the long unoccupied former Staples and Comet stores subdivided to allow new retailers to move in, including M&S Simply Food and Next.
Unit One on the retail park will be divided up to provide three new units with additional mezzanine floorspace, one of which will be for Next. The fashion retailer, who was poised to leave the town altogether, will now increase its floorspace by five times, transfer its existing 18-strong workforce from their Quadrant Shopping Centre store and offer 29 additional positions.
M&S Simply Food will move into a refurbished Unit Five, providing approximately 50 jobs while Brantano and Sports Direct are negotiating to open new stores in the retail park, which would provide 15 and 16 new roles respectively.
Restrictions will remain on nine of the 13 units, giving the council strong controls on the retail park to prevent any changes taking place, which could adversely impact on Dunstable town centre.
Jason Longhurst, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Director of Regeneration and Business said: “This is a fantastic boost for Dunstable. A refurbished White Lion Retail Park will further enhance the reputation of the town as a great place for shopping, leisure and culture.
“Over the last two years a wide range of regeneration projects and developments has been breathing new life into this traditional market town, improving infrastructure, leisure and social facilities across the board.
"BBC Three Counties Radio is due to relocate from Luton to Grove Park, a stone’s throw from where a new, state-of-the-art skate park will open on 21 March. A £15million refurbishment will improve the Central Bedfordshire College Campus, while the Priory View extra care facility on Church Street will open its doors in the autumn; providing much needed housing for our older residents.