Following the announcement of two new independent store signings last month, owners of The Springs out of town retail and leisure centre in Leeds have announced a further agreement with Dunelm.

The UK’s largest homewares retailer has agreed a deal to occupy a prominent 18,362 sq ft sales store with mezzanine at The Springs. It will be Dunelm’s first new smaller format store in the country and its first paperless receipt store in a bid to change customer habits and further promote a sustainable business.

Steve Barton, Director of Property at Dunelm, said,

“We are delighted to announce that we will open a new store at The Springs Leeds on 1st April 2022. We chose The Springs due to its high-quality environment, and great transport and infrastructure links.  It is an ideal scheme for us to launch our new format store that is around half the size of our standard superstore.”

Dunelm was founded in 1979 as a Leicester market stall business selling ready-made curtains and has been making Made to Measure curtains and blinds in Leicestershire for more than 20 years. Since opening the first Dunelm store in Leicester in 1984, the company has expanded across the country making it the UK’s largest homewares retailer with over 175 stores and employing over 9000 colleagues nationwide.

The Springs is a 350,000 sq ft shopping and leisure attraction located at the heart of award-winning business destination, Thorpe Park Leeds at Junction 46 of the M1. Outlets include Next, Boots, M&S, TK Maxx, The Range, H&M, Pure Gym, Nandos, and many more.

Because of its unique and highly modern environment, The Springs has been used as a springboard for new concepts by other operators.  These include the UK’s first purpose designed ODEON Luxe cinema, the joint venture between Next and Gino D’Acampo, a new concept store for The Range, Vitruvian dental practice and the recently opened Elan Laser Clinic as its first venture in the UK.

Landlord Thorpe Park Developments Ltd (TPDL) recently released data that shows continued growth and increased popularity of The Springs despite the challenges of Covid over the last two years. Footfall has remained consistent and retailer performance figures show as much as 25% increase in trading from pre-pandemic trading in 2019. For the twelve months from September 2020 to September 2021 the total number of consumer visits topped 1.4 million with an average daily vehicle recording of more than 4,000.

Adam Varley, Director at Scarborough Group International (SGI), which is responsible for the development and asset management of The Springs and Thorpe Park Leeds, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Dunelm as the latest popular shopping attraction at The Springs Leeds.  The store compliments our existing operators for high quality, good value homewares where shoppers can also enjoy a bite to eat, take in a movie or a game of adventure golf at Puttstars.

“Its unique location in the centre of a well-established business park gives it an added edge over other competing out of town retail destinations and is one of the reasons why national and independent retailers are keen to use it as a test bed for new concept stores or flagship premises.”

Thorpe Park Leeds is strategically located with its own dedicated access at Junction 46 of the M1. More than 900,000 sq ft of office space is already built, supporting over 5,500 jobs. The ongoing new development at Thorpe Park Leeds was enabled following a unique £162 million investment deal with Legal & General Capital in 2015. Since then, a transformational 1.35 million sq ft mixed-use expansion, with Grade A offices has progressed, bringing a plethora of exceptional new business opportunities to the Leeds City Region.

It has also enabled the delivery of the first section of the East Leeds Orbital Route (ELOR), a key piece of transport infrastructure connecting north and east Leeds to Junction 46 of the M1.  This road also unlocks land for the future construction of over 7,000 new homes on the East Leeds area.

Further development plans include the delivery of a 113-acre public park with sports and wellbeing facilities for the community. SGI is also in the process of master planning uses for the adjacent Brown Moor site and has identified potential for further employment opportunities.

Thorpe Park Leeds has been chosen for the new railway station ‘East Leeds Parkway’ and associated Park and Ride, connecting directly to Leeds City Centre in less than eight minutes.  This forms part of a £270 million infrastructure investment into Leeds by the Department of Transport.