Flagship store for the centre

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PRIMARK is to open a three-storey store as part of a new, £40million development in the city shopping centre creating a total of 650 new jobs.

After several years of petitions, and public pleas to bring the value clothing store to Milton Keynes, thecentre:mk revealed on Wednesday that the planned development at Secklow Gate, where the market currently is located, would be occupied by the brand.

The news comes less than a year after Primark announced it would be moving into the new MK1 retail park currently being built at stadium:mk, which it is expected to be open by the end of 2012.

The deal comes as part of a significant investment plan for thecentre:mk which includes a £27 million extension and refurbishment currently under way at John Lewis, and a £6 million extension and refit to Next following a £4.5 million refurbishment at House of Fraser, which was completed at the end of last year.

The plans, which will also create a further 17,500 sq ft retail unit and an improved market site, involves the removal of the southern section of Secklow Gate bridge, unlocking the potential for the wider regeneration of Central Milton Keynes by opening up the land to the south of the shopping centre and Midsummer Boulevard. It would also require the market to move.

A spokesperson for Primark said: “We look forward to opening a new store at thecentre:mk.

Milton Keynes provides an ideal location for Primark as it meets our requirements for store locations and is already a popular destination for our target customer.”

MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster, said: “I am delighted to hear that Primark is looking to establish themselves in CMK.

“We all want this city to continue to thrive and I am confident this addition will maintain and improve Milton Keynes’ position as a premier retail destination.”

> A public exhibition on the extension to Secklow Gate will be held from 10am-6pm on July 20 and 21 at thecentre:mk