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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 12:04 GMT
Ikea to bring 400 jobs to Belfast
Ikea store
Ikea is expected to announce its Belfast intentions
The Swedish retailer Ikea has announced it wants to build a major outlet near Belfast, creating 400 jobs.

The firm said it intends to seek planning permission for a "major store" at the Holywood Exchange site, near Belfast City Airport.

The company said it expected a further 100 jobs would be created in outsourced services such as home delivery.

It also announced its intention to submit a planning application to build a store in Dublin's Ballymun area.

The Belfast store will cover 25,800 sq metres over two floors, and will have approximately 1,100 car spaces.

The outlet will also incorporate a 400-seater restaurant, a bistro, a cafe and a Swedish food hall as well as a creche for young children, while their parents are shopping.

Theresa Daly, project manager for the Belfast and Dublin stores, said they expected to lodge the Belfast planning application within the coming month and open the store in late December.

"We are obviously anxious to be open for trading in both locations in the shortest possible time-frame, but we respect the planning process and this will guide our timing," she said.

Ms Daly said thousands of people from Northern Ireland have been travelling to Glasgow and other Ikea stores in the UK over the past few years.

Ikea has a network of 220 stores in 33 countries worldwide, 14 of which are in Britain.

The company said that last year 410 million people visited an Ikea store, and 160 million copies of the Ikea catalogue were printed each year in 25 languages.

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