Antrim’s out-of-town retail outlet Junction One is to undergo a major revamp, after the group which owns it announced plans to invest £30m.
The Lotus Group claims almost 475 new jobs will be created in the operational phase with an increased wage bill of £8.4m, contributing £17.6m to the local economy.
The construction phase alone is expected to provide an additional 430 jobs.
The owners intend to bring in “a significant number” of new and well-known leisure and retail brands, rearrange some existing stores, and create a new boulevard entrance to the retail park.
They also want to ensure greater connectivity to the surrounding area.
Alastair Coulson, from the Lotus Group, said: “When we bought Junction One, we inherited a retail park that was neglected for a number of years and suffered from a lack of investment.
“Our experienced team saw the opportunity for an invigorated scheme and we are now working hard to bring bigger brands, better marketing and longer term leasing for our high profile tenants.”
He added: “This is fantastic news for the Antrim area.
“We are going to bring forward more jobs for local people and more opportunities in terms of retail management skills training, not to mention extra construction jobs in the redevelopment phase.
“This investment will bring Junction One back to its former prominence and make it a top performing retail destination anywhere on these islands.”
A masterplan planning application is expected to be brought forward soon, with the community consultation process taking place in January and February 2017.