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Leeds City Council, John Lewis and Hammerson sign Employment and Skills Charter

LONDON, 2015-10-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Leeds City Council, John Lewis and Hammerson have signed an Employment and Skills Charter, marking their commitment to support Leeds residents to access more than 1,000 new employment opportunities as part of the £165 million Victoria Gate development.

The Charter sets out how the organisations will work collaboratively to ensure Leeds and its surrounding residents, including young people, have access to skills training, retail and hospitality jobs as well as additional construction employment opportunities being created by the development in the city centre.

A key commitment within the Charter is to help ensure skills, training and access are a top priority. Hammerson, Leeds City Council and John Lewis are therefore working closely with local colleges and universities, training providers as well as specialist agencies, to help achieve this goal. Their overall aim is to support Leeds city’s aspiration of becoming a world class destination that attracts and delights customers, residents and visitors.

The Victoria Gate scheme, which is on schedule to open in late 2016, will be anchored by a regional flagship John Lewis shop and will additionally feature a two-street covered arcade with more than 30 aspirational retailers and restaurants.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: ‘It is one of our top priorities as a council to ensure that everyone in the city shares the opportunities provided by economic development as we forge forward for the future.  We work closely with developers and companies setting up in the city to ensure that employment for local people is high on their agenda and I am delighted that John Lewis and Hammerson are taking their responsibilities seriously.’

Robin Dobson, Development Retail Director at Hammerson, added: ‘At Hammerson, we are committed to creating long lasting employment, and training opportunities in Leeds. Signing of the Charter marks an important step in the development of Victoria Gate, and highlights the opportunities that the development will create for the local community and further afield. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with both John Lewis and Leeds City Council on delivering what we believe will become the North’s premier retail and leisure destination as well as the wider regeneration of the city.’

Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, said: ‘We are committed to the local communities in which we operate, and by signing this Charter, it affirms our focus to provide local jobs for local people. We want to ensure that job opportunities created by our Victoria Gate shop are accessible to all Leeds residents and we look forward to welcoming new Partners into our business.’

Notes to editors
Hammerson – Work started in April 2014 on the new £150 million Victoria Gate retail development, which is due to open in late 2016. The development will house one of the largest John Lewis stores outside of London. The detailed designs also include a casino, a multi-storey car park for up to 800 cars, Victoria Gate arcade with 30 stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure space. The first phase will also deliver up to 1,000 retail and hospitality jobs and up to 1,000 construction employment opportunities on site during the construction phases of the scheme. Project developer, Hammerson, is working with construction contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and key partner Leeds City Council to deliver the scheme.

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 45 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 11 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015’ , ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’1, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1 Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015


For further information about Hammerson, please contact:
Emma Streets, Turn Key
Telephone: 0113 380 4671

For further information about John Lewis please contact:
Emma Cole, Senior Communications Officer (Corporate & Brand)
Telephone: 020 7798 3829

For further information about Leeds City Council please contact:
Donna Cox
Telephone: 0113 224 3335

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