Southampton backs central IKEA outlet

Furniture retailer IKEA has won approval for a store in the centre of Southampton on its second attempt to open a branch in the city.

Southampton City Council this week approved the 34,000m2 store and a warehouse on the former Pirelli site in West Quay Road.

The firm tried to open a store on the edge of the city at Millbrook in 2004 but the scheme was called in. The council said the latest development would be a huge economic boost to the city, creating 500 jobs.

Cabinet member for environment and transport Gavin Dick said: "IKEA will be a draw not just for local people but shoppers right across the south of England."

IKEA UK manager Peter Hogsted added: "City centre locations give us the opportunity to open stores that are truly accessible." The company will contribute to local amenities through a section 106 agreement.

The application will now go before the government for final approval. The decision comes a month before IKEA opens its first city centre store in Coventry.

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