£50m investment plan for Sprucefield

What might have been - an artist's impression showing the proposed John Lewis store as part of the earlier Westfield development at Sprucefield
What might have been - an artist's impression showing the proposed John Lewis store as part of the earlier Westfield development at Sprucefield

A £50 million investment at Sprucefield Park including an 80-room hotel could create up to 200 construction jobs and a further 300 on completion the owners have claimed.

Once planned as the site of the much-vaunted and controversial John Lewis store under then owners Westfield, the park is now owned by GB based Intu; owner of some of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping centres with a growing presence in Spain.

The plans will bring new shops and restaurants in addition to the hotel, as well as landscaping improvements.

Martin Breeden, development director at intu said: “We want to transform an under-utilised retail park into an exciting place to shop, eat and relax.

“The location is perfect, and we already have interest from quality retailers.

“Our plans will create hundreds of jobs for local people, complement the existing offer in Lisburn and turn Sprucefield Park into a flourishing retail location, attracting more people.”

A community consultation on the plans will take place shortly, with a planning application to follow.

The company’s plans for Sprucefield Park include the creation of a new retail terrace consisting of 13 new units and five new food and beverage outlets.

The firm owns several well-established retail destinations such as Trafford Centre and Lakeside, but one retail name not likely to be appearing soon is John Lewis.

“We are often linked to new developments but have no plans for a shop in Northern Ireland,” said a spokesperson.