Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Marks and Spencer superstore planned for Maidstone's Eclipse Park

By Alan Smith

Maidstone is to get a new Marks & Spencer superstore.

It will be at Eclipse Park and substitute for the planned Waitrose store there after the grocer pulled out.

The two-storey building will have 60,000 sq ft of sales space, and be one of just 10 new “inspiration” stores that the company is planning across the country.

Eclipse Park will be the site of a new Marks and Spencer Inspiration store
Eclipse Park will be the site of a new Marks and Spencer Inspiration store

It will sell homeware, clothes, have a food store and be supported by 300 car parking spaces.

It is expected to create 200 full-time equivalent jobs and the project represents an investment of £25m.

Nick Yandle, managing director of Gallaghers Ltd, which owns the site, said: “This is tremendous news for Maidstone, especially after Waitrose dropped out, which was a big disappointment to everyone.”

Marks and Spencer is set to open another store
Marks and Spencer is set to open another store

Marks & Spencer is also planning to upgrade its men’s store in Week Street, but it is likely that the women’s branch a few doors away will close when the company’s lease on the building runs out in 2022.

The 40 staff who work there will be offered a place at either the improved Week Street branch or the new superstore.

The company has already entered into pre-application discussions with Maidstone council and expects to submit a full planning application by Christmas.

The timetable would see construction begin in autumn next year, with the new store opening in autumn 2019.

Gallagher Group chief executive Nick Yandle
Gallagher Group chief executive Nick Yandle

Mr Yandle said: “The town would lose 10,000 sq ft of retail space from Week Street, but gain 60,000 sq ft at Eclipse Park.

“Marks and Spencer has chosen Maidstone over other towns in Kent, which is very exciting for Maidstone.”

The new building will be on the same footprint as the previously proposed Waitrose store which had already gained full planning permission in May of this year.

Cllr Dave Naghi (Lib Dem) who represents East Ward which contains Eclipse Park said: “This is wonderful news for Maidstone.”

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More