YORK’S new John Lewis store is moving closer to completion as work continues on a £90 million shopping complex on the edge of the city.

This picture shows how the skeleton of the building set to house one of the UK’s biggest retail names is taking shape at the Vangarde site at Monks Cross, which, once completed next April, will also include Marks & Spencer and Next stores.

The development, led by The Oakgate Group, has also provided £13.75 million towards York’s community stadium project, with the 6,000-seater ground for York City FC and York City Knights being built on the site of the neighbouring Huntington Stadium.

Planning permission for the Vangarde stores was granted by City of York Council last May, although the start of construction work was held up after protected great crested newts were found on the land and had to be carefully rehomed.

The framework of the three stores will involve 1,400 tonnes of steel and 50,000 bolts and take 16 weeks to complete, with the work being carried out by Caddick Construction.

The 339,000sq ft retail park is scheduled to open by April 10 next year, with Oakgate saying it will create 1,000 jobs and inject £14 million a year into York’s economy, while five or six restaurants will also be included in the complex and their operators are due to be announced shortly.

Oakgate has said groundworks for the site were able to be completed during recent good weather, with work now on schedule. The retail scheme is being financially backed by Bank Leumi (UK) plc.