Next set to open one of its biggest stores in the North East

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Fashion and homeware chain Next is to open one of its biggest-ever stores - here in the North East.

The new store will be in part of the former BHS premises at the Metrocentre in Gateshead.

Owners intu will reconfigure 85,000 sq ft of the unit for Next’s use.

It will double the chain’s existing floor space at the shopping centre when it opens in early 2018.

The expansion is set to bring a number of new jobs to the shopping centre.

A Next Home will continue to operate at the Metrocentre’s retail park alongside the new store.

Kate Grant, regional director at intu, said: “This fantastic new space at the heart of intu Metrocentre will build on the strength of what is already one of Next’s most successful stores, allowing them to attract even more customers and create a number of new jobs.

“It’s a significant investment by Next that sits alongside our own investment programme and similar expansions by House of Fraser and Primark this year, representing a long-term commitment to intu Metrocentre and the north east region as a thriving retail destination.”

The work forms part of an ongoing investment programme at the shopping mall which has seen a refurbishment of its Platinum Mall, which has just seen the opening of Flannels and Carluccios, as well as an extension to its dining and leisure quarter Qube.

House of Fraser extended its beauty hall by 2,346 sq ft as part of a £5million refit of the ground floor and café area this year, and Primark opened a 7,739 sq ft extension to its ground and first-floor levels in the summer.