DEVELOPMENT of the Port Arcades shopping centre in Ellesmere Port is making a ‘positive contribution’ to the local economy.

Phase 4 is progressing well, with the opening of Store Twenty One, the national fashion and homeware chain.

Due to open in autumn 2011, Phase 4 is a 17,500sq ft external extension to existing shopping centre, and will consist of three major new retail premises.

Besides Unit 3, which has been pre-let to Store Twenty One, Unit 2 is under offer to another national retail chain and only Unit 1, at 6,490sq ft, remains available.

“This is great news for our shoppers,” said Les Lyons, manager of the Port Arcades. “The shops in our centre already offer great variety and quality, and from autumn 2011 the offer will be even better.”

John Matthews of Port Arcades owner Frogmore said: “The quick take-up of these new premises highlights the thriving local economy in Ellesmere Port, and the demand for local outlets by national names.

“It’s also good news for local jobseekers, both in the retail and construction sectors, and we’re delighted that this project is making a positive contribution to local economy.”