by Patrick Culhane and Grace Holliday
The Swedish retail giant IKEA3. has held a jobs fair to advertise the employment opportunities when it opens its new store in Sheffield next year.
Anticipation for Sheffield’s first IKEA continues to build as the Swedish furniture giant holds a major job fair in the city centre.
The international superstore is due to set up shop in the city in summer 2017. 1,500 turned up at Sheffield Town Hall for the event.
Building and highway works are underway, as well as a £30 million ‘bus rapid transit scheme’ between Meadowhall Way and Sheffield Road. With a budget of £60m, the new store was granted planning consent in 2014. Campaigners had voiced their concerns about the potential threat of air pollution. The council’s air quality action plan suggested pollution caused by the project could cause more premature deaths, heart attacks and strokes. The campaigners concerns were not upheld.
An estimated 350 jobs will be up for grabs at the Meadowhall Retail Park site, off Sheffield Road, Carbrook. Project Manager Ian Nicholson, said: “An IKEA store in Sheffield will be a major boost to the whole city, not just in terms of jobs, but also by adding to the total retail offer.
He added: “As is the case in cities across the UK, our store would complement, not compete with, the city centre retail offer.”
Sheffield City Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business and Economy, Leigh Bramall, said of the partnership with IKEA: We’ll be working closely with the company and Highways England to ensure the store is opened as soon as possible and meets the needs of shoppers from Sheffield and beyond.”
Official recruitment for the Sheffield branch will begin later in 2016, with positions in logistics, interior design, food and more advertised on www.IKEA.co.uk.
2014: Sheffield City Council recommend planning consent
2015: IKEA receive consent for site at the Meadowhall Retail Park
2016: Building and highway construction commences
2017: Summer opening planned