Coastal town to get 750 new jobs at ?130m retail centre
A TOWN received a massive employment boost yesterday with the announcement of a new ?130m retail centre which will create 750 new jobs.
The owners of the Bridgewater Centre, North Quay Developments, Arklow, said the development, which will include commercial, residential, leisure and office space, is to open in Autumn 2007.
During a visit to the site yesterday, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said the development represented the latest example of "the real transformation taking place in cities and towns throughout the country".
He added that the benefits would accrue not only to Arklow but also to the wider region.
"I am delighted to welcome an investment of this magnitude to County Wicklow," he said.
Anchored by Dunnes Stores, the centre will comprise about 400,000 square feet on a 13-acre site and will be the first fully-enclosed scheme of its kind in the area.
It will feature 36 retailers, a multi-screen cinema, four restaurants, a food court with six outlets, 23 waterfront apartments, a 33,000 square feet office block and about 1,000 spaces for vehicles.
The 750 jobs will include positions such as store managers, sales staff, customer service and centre management jobs.
Some 400 workers are already employed on the construction site and this is expected to rise to 1,500 during the fit out of the centre.
Michael Allen, from North Quay Developments, said the region had been "seriously lacking" such a retail and leisure development and people had been forced to travel long distances to other centres.