A national retailer has been announced as the first big brand to sign up for a multi-million pound shopping and leisure complex in Walsall town centre.
Homeware store B&M has been confirmed for the £12 million St Matthews Quarter development which is expected to create around 200 new jobs overall.
It is believed Poundland could also be lined up for the ambitious retail complex after featuring on a banner put up near to the site, although the Willenhall-based company is remaining tight-lipped at this stage.
Norton and Proffitt Developments was granted planning permission for the multi-million pound development by Walsall Council.
It will see 11 units for retail, restaurants and leisure created in Digbeth and Lower Hall Lane, although there is no confirmed date for work to start.
Developers St Modwen, which is part of the joint venture development, have welcomed bringing in a leading name for the regeneration scheme.
Senior developer surveyor Mark Watkins said: “St Modwen has signed a deal with B&M variety retailer to join the new scheme and we expect to announce deals with other tenants in the very near future.”
Charlie du Pre, communications manager for B&M, added: We are delighted to be joining this scheme and look forward to becoming an integral part of the local community.”
Poundland appear on a banner which has been erected in Walsall town centre to promote the St Matthews Quarter plans. But bosses have refused to confirm or deny they could form part of the scheme.
In a statement they said: “Poundland is currently considering the acquisition of new stores to add to those already opened this year.
"The stringent acquisition process ensures the new stores are positioned in the right location and fit Poundland’s customer profile.
"Due to the popularity of Poundland’s product ranges, the organisation is keen not to raise anticipation for a new store before plans are finalised. Therefore, Poundland cannot disclose any more information at this stage.
"As soon as all details have been confirmed, Poundland will immediately release this information to the area in question."
Concerns had been raised that the St Matthews Quarter will impact on the nearby Saddlers Shopping Centre, Topland, which bought the Saddlers last year, mounted an initial legal battle against the plans but the move has since been dropped.
In a separate scheme a new Primark and Co-op are opening as part of a £21 million transformation of the nearby Old Square Shopping Centre. Work has already got under way.