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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 06:49 GMT
Retail giant Ikea plans NI store
Ikea store
Ikea representatives are expected this week
The Swedish furniture giant, Ikea, is planning to set up a superstore in Northern Ireland.

If approved, it is expected to be at the Holywood Exchange development near Belfast City Airport.

Representatives from the chain are expected to arrive in Northern Ireland later this week to discuss the project.

The East Belfast MP, Peter Robinson, is supporting the move, which would see the retail giant setting up and bringing hundreds of jobs.

"Here we have an opportunity to have an Ikea on our doorstep in the Harbour Estate," said the DUP deputy leader.

"I think the only thing that would put them off is if they are delayed long by the Planning Service.

"I hope the Planning Service will fast-track this. There is great employment potential - 400-500 jobs are possible.

"That has to be something that is economically good for Northern Ireland."

Last year, the government in the Irish Republic lifted its cap on the size of retail outlets, paving the way for Ikea to enter the Irish market.

Ikea made a threat to set up in Northern Ireland if planning restrictions were not relaxed for a proposed site in north Dublin.

There had been previous speculation that Ikea was interested in setting up near Banbridge in County Down.

Irish changes pave way for Ikea
05 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland
Superstore plan on cards
02 Jul 03 |  Northern Ireland

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