THERE was a much-needed jobs boost for Huddersfield today.
More than 200 new posts will be created as multi-million-pound plans were announced for the town centre and Bradley.
The large empty Tradex store on the Ringway industrial estate off St John’s Road is set to be taken over by two furnishing companies, creating dozens of jobs.
The £25m project will also see an Aldi store open across the road, serving north Huddersfield.
And an internet services firm is to bring scores of jobs to the town when it moves on to the Pennine Business Park off Bradley Road.
Some 125 jobs will be created by a £25m revamp of the Ringway Estate, off St John’s Road.
And fast-growing internet services provider Customer Street has begun advertising the first of 80 vacancies for a new office, which is due to open in January at Bradley.
Property developer Castlemore Securities has been granted permission for a scheme to bring a string of new retailers to the Ringway Estate.
Under the plan the former Tradex building will be divided to create two new stores, measuring 28,000sq ft and 14,000sq ft.
Castlemore will also create an extra 16,900sq ft of retail space by extending another unit at the Beck Road site.
Home furnishings superstore Dunelm this week signed on the dotted line and will move into part of the Tradex site.
And Castlemore, the developer behind Huddersfield’s Great Northern Street Retail Park, said talks were well advanced with another leading furniture store to occupy the remaining space at Ringway.
Discount supermarket Aldi will take the 16,900sq ft extension after Kirklees councillors agreed to lift a restriction on selling food on the estate.
Matalan will remain on the site.
Brad Critcher, Castlemore’s managing director, said: “The edge-of-town location is ideal for modern retailers and this scheme also offers economical and practical trading space.”
Castlemore planning director Eric Hall said: “We are thrilled to have planning consent to press ahead with work at Ringway. It is an exciting project for us and the local community.
“The re-use of space in the Tradex building has already brought in Dunelm and will soon add another major retailer, which will be a real boost to the area.”
Meanwhile, Customer Street expects to create 80 jobs when it opens a new office at the Pennine Business Park, Bradley.
The company provides internet services for more than 50,000 businesses across the UK.
It runs three of the most widely used online UK directories, including ufindus.com, as well as over 150 trade directories for businesses such as roofers, florists and accountants.
Customer Street is part of the Stock Market-listed Iomart group, which is one of the leading internet service suppliers in Europe for web hosting and internet security.
The group has its head office in Glasgow and has been trading since 1998.
Customer Street was formed five years ago by sales director Mark Hallam and technical director Stuart Forrest.
The company opened its first branch in Lancaster in 2002 and now has offices in Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool and Chorley.
Company training co-ordinator James Wright, a graduate of Huddersfield University, said: “Huddersfield is our latest – and I would say most exciting – office launch.
“We have set out a budget for about 80 staff, with a view to expanding further into Yorkshire over the next few years.
“This is great for the new recruits in Huddersfield who may progress into management roles as we expand further.
“We now employ about 450 staff across our offices.’’
Mr Wright said the Huddersfield office was expected to open in the first half of January, with job interviews being held before Christmas.
He said: “Huddersfield is an ideal location for us. I have been lobbying for us to open here for two years now, having spent four happy years at the university.
“It has huge potential. At Lancaster we only set out to employ about 50 staff. We now have over 250 people there.
“I can see us grow beyond our initial projections of 80 staff.”