Government give go-ahead for John Lewis development

The Government has confirmed that leading retailer John Lewis is to open up its first Northern Ireland store at Sprucefield Park, near Lisburn.

The decision, which has been criticised by many including Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce, will see a new 220,000 sq ft department store housed at the site, with around 700 jobs being created in store and a further 200 in warehousing.

The company said Sprucefield was the "only viable location" for the £40 million development, having ruled out Belfast city centre, saying it could not sustain a full-range department store.

Commenting on the decision, Environment Minister Jeff Rooker said he was convinced that the decision was in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland.

“There are very positive economic and social benefits associated with this proposal in the overall public interest,” Mr Rooker said. “John Lewis is a major name in retailing and its entry into the Northern Ireland retail sector represents further choice for the Northern Ireland consumer and complements the retail experience on offer in other centres.”

John Lewis Director of Retail Operations, Gareth Thomas, said: "We believe that today's decision represents good news for the whole of Northern Ireland and will secure substantial economic investment and jobs for the province.

"We are also confident that our first department store on the island of Ireland will complement the additional major retail development currently underway in Belfast city centre and will greatly enhance the overall retail offering of Northern Ireland."

DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he was "absolutely delighted" by the move.

"This is good news story for Lisburn and a good news story for Northern Ireland," he said.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
17 January 2008
Retailers' Association 'Disappointed' With Curley's Takeover
The local association responsible for the independent food retailing sector has outlined its disappointment over the decision by top regional independent retailer Curley's to allow the buy out by retailing titan, and FTSE 100 member, Sainsbury's.
20 February 2007
Northern Ireland goes to Washington
Washington DC is to experience Northern Ireland’s arts and culture during a four month programme to promote arts, business, education, food and tourism.

 Around 250 local people will be in Washington taking part in the Rediscover Northern Ireland programme and the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival.
29 May 2012
Access To Republic Of Ireland Digital TV Channels Confirmed For Northern Ireland
TV viewers in Northern Ireland will be able to watch TG4 and RTÉ One and Two on Freeview following digital TV switchover, the UK Government confirmed today.
22 September 2006
NI tourist board target golfers
To coincide with the Ryder Cup at the K Club in County Kildare, Tourism Minister, Maria Eagle, has launched a new ‘Golf Northern Ireland’ brochure in a bid to entice participants to visit some of Northern Ireland's top golf courses.