McDonald's is part of retail complex set to create 100 jobs in Ilkeston
A NEW McDonald's restaurant is planned as part of a retail complex in Ilkeston which could create more than 100 jobs.
The new eatery would be built opposite the town's main Tesco store, on the site of a former gas works in Rutland Street.
The site has been vacant for years.
The two-storey block would include a drive-through facility for the fast food giant, with the restaurant as a whole expected to create between 60 and 70 jobs.
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The remaining jobs would come from the other business units which would be part of the complex.
Permission has been sought for two to four units which could be utilised for a range of uses and would create anywhere from 20 to 60 positions.
Erewash borough councillor Glennice Birkin is the member for the Ilkeston Central, the ward affected by the plans, and also sits on the planning committee.
She said: "This is very good news for the town.
"The increase in traffic might worry me a bit but otherwise it's fantastic.
"People in Ilkeston need these jobs and if this brings them here then it is a good idea."
Currently 215 unemployed people live in Ilkeston Central ward, which is 7.2% of the population and is slightly below the national average of 7.9%.
But unemployment among young people is far higher with 65 people under 25, 30% of the population in the area, unemployed – a figure far higher than the national average of about 20%.
The town received a recent jobs boost when plans to create a Morrisons store on the former Derby College site won council backing.
Morrisons has pledged to employ local people in the store, a lead that Ms Birkin hopes McDonalds will follow.
She said: "I hope McDonalds will do the same. People desperately want jobs."
The original plans for the Rutland Street site included a hotel but were shelved after they were deemed economically unviable.
As part of that original plan KFC built a store close by, which celebrates its first birthday this month.
Another fast food restaurant so close to KFC could have been a cause for concern but Ms Birkin felt the advantages outweighed any possible negatives.
The plans will now be reviewed by officers at Erewash Borough Council before being put to the planning committee to be voted on.