NIDD Vale Motors has announced plans to relocate from its Harrogate base on Leeds Road to a new site at St James Business Park in Knaresborough.
The company, which has Vauxhall, Saab, Seat, Peugeot and Mazda franchises, also made it clear that it hopes to sell the site to Marks & Spencer - to make way for an M&S Simply Food store.
The move will see the Leeds Road dealership and the after-sales service and parts site on Hornbeam Park, combined into one purpose built 20,000ft sq showroom at the business park.
Speaking to the Advertiser, non executive chairman Richard Jackson said: “It will be good for the business to be on a purpose-built one location site. All 160 jobs are set to be moved to the new site with the potential for the business to grow on a more efficient single site in the future.
“We hope to be operational in around about a year’s time.”
Mr Jackson said that Nidd Vale - which was founded in 1920 - is determined to keep the Harrogate district as its core location.
“We are keen that the Nidd Vale brand, which remains very strong in the industry, is maintained in this district,” he said.
“We’ve got an excellent reputation for customer care and service and we bring in a lot of out of area business to Harrogate as well.”
In a previously released statement from Nidd Vale, a spokesman said: “The directors of Nidd Vale have for some years been looking for an opportunity to potentially relocate the Leeds Road business to facilitate the trading of both their Harrogate sales and aftersales operations from a single location.
“Earlier in 2011 an approach was made by a leading award-winning development company, St James Securities, to investigate the opportunities of developing the Leeds Road site and relocating the Nidd Vale business.
“Nidd Vale are delighted to be able to confirm their plans are progressing well and it is hoped that all surveys will be completed to submit a formal combined planning application, in conjunction with St James Securities, covering the Leeds Road development and new dealership facility at St James Business Park to Harrogate District Council during the fourth quarter of 2011.” The statement goes on to confirm that after a swell of initial interest from several high street retailers, and subject to planning permission, the preferred operator of the site on Leeds would be Marks and Spencer plc.
An M&S press officer has confirmed the company’s interest in building a food store on the Leeds Road site.