‘Optimistic’ outlook for Opus North’s Skipton development

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‘Optimistic’ outlook for Opus North’s Skipton development

Yorkshire development and investment company Opus North remains “extremely optimistic” about the future of its £6.5 million Skipton retail park.

The 35,000 sq ft park – located on part of the site of the Guyson’s International factory on Keighley Road – had a recent setback when DIY giant Wickes pulled out of the development.

Andrew Duncan, Opus North MD, said: “This was not a reflection of the park itself, but of the downturn in the DIY sector. Wickes’ troubles have been well-documented.

“This month it has been revealed that Travis Perkins, the owner of Wickes, has increased prices to offset soaring costs from the Brexit-hit pound as it posted a 4.5% fall in half-year profits. A number of stores have closed.

“It is vital to stress that our Skipton park, which features a 100-space car park, remains an extremely attractive proposition to retailers. We are experiencing high levels of interest from a number of household names, including Pets at Home, and hope to make an announcement about new occupiers in the near future.

“This sizeable investment will bring more jobs to the area and more choice to shoppers. Work will start on site once new occupiers are signed up.”

The existing Guyson factory will be extended and improved under the plan. Its managing director, James Thompson, said the park would secure the company’s future.

He explained: “A multi-million pound reinvestment generated from the retail park development will enable us create a world-leading new facility fitted with the latest manufacturing technology.

“This reinvestment linked with our international growth strategy will create new job opportunities and future proof our Skipton operations for years to come”