John Lewis is to build a new store next to one of the country's biggest railway stations, creating 650 jobs, it was announced today.
An agreement was reached between the company, Network Rail and Birmingham City Council for the department store to be built next to New Street station in Birmingham city centre.
Hundreds of other jobs will also be created under a £100 million development project which will also include the upgrade of the area's Pallasades Shopping Centre.
The 250,000 sq ft shop, scheduled to open in 2014, will be one of the largest John Lewis department stores outside London.
Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis said: "Together with a progressive city council and Network Rail, we are pleased to play our part in the regeneration of Birmingham city centre. We will deliver a landmark, long-term investment and quality job creation. Our optimum growth strategy includes opening full-line department stores in strategic locations, 'at home' shops and online expansion including our international delivery."
Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council said: "I am delighted that John Lewis will be joining the Birmingham retail family. We have been working to secure their presence in the city for over two years now, and to see the fruits of our negotiation borne out today is phenomenal. Not only will their presence bring 900 new jobs, and create an extra £100 million of investment, it will enhance what is already a spectacular new development of New Street station."
David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail, said: "Network Rail is helping to rebuild Birmingham by transforming New Street. The project is about much more than simply redeveloping the station. Today's deal is a further sign that our plans are critical to the long term success of the city and will create new jobs and help stimulate economic growth."