Work on the new Victoria Gate shopping centre in Leeds could soon be underway after Sir Robert McAlpine was awarded the construction contract.

Property developer Hammerson announced that the company would be responsible for the building of the latest retail centre in the heart of the west Yorkshire city, Construction Enquirer reports. The £130 million development will be the perfect complement to Leeds' Victoria Quarter which contains a number of big name retail and designer brands. The likes of Harvey Nichols, French Connection, Jacks Wills and Paul Smith all currently have outlets in the retail facility.

The creation of the new shopping centre Trinity has allowed Leeds to compete with the likes of Manchester in terms of choice for the consumer. This contains a number of stores and restaurants that are only available in the city and in London, which provides a real selling point for Leeds' tourism industry.

McAlpine will be responsible for bringing Victoria Gate to life and plans have detailed that the first phase of the project will be creation of a five-floor John Lewis store complete with a two-street arcade.

The arcade will have the capacity to accommodate 40 stores and restaurants adding the total retail and leisure space to just under 1.2 million sq ft. The plans also include the creation of a new multi-storey car park with space for 800 vehicles and allowing much easier access to the shopping centre.

In preparation for the start of the work, McAlpine is holding two recruitment evenings throughout January in both Warrington and Leeds. These will be designed to find new construction managers, section engineers, site engineers, quantity surveyors, M&E engines and works supervisors among others.

The company said: "The open evenings will provide an opportunity for construction professionals to discuss their career aspirations with company management/representatives."

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