A huge new Dunelm Mill store scheduled to open this autumn on a former cattle market site unused for 20 years is taking shape.
A store a third the size of a football pitch is being built for the home furnishings chain on the site of the former cattle market in Northfield Avenue, Kettering.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are opening a new store in Kettering later on this year.
“Development is well on the way and we are really excited to be coming to the area and bringing a number of job opportunities to the local community.”
Contractor Tomlinson expects to finish the 23,000sq foot store, car park and junction improvements by August.
Dunelm Mill will then fit the interior of the store ready for it to open in the autumn.
Since work started in March workmen from 25 sub-contractors have put in almost 10,000 man hours on site.
The site was cleared and old concrete yard slabs broken out, crushed and re-used as hardcore.
The car park area has been excavated, re-graded and the ground stabilised. All excavated material has been re-used on site.
Workmen then laid foundations and erected a steel frame. They installed foul and storm drainage and kerbs to the car park.
More than 474 cubic metres of concrete, 43,000 bricks and 13,000 concrete blocks have gone into the construction.
The brick work and cladding are ongoing along with the external works to the store and the junction improvements to Northfield Avenue.
Tomlinson has used local brickwork and scaffolding companies and local building suppliers.
Dunelm represents the first phase of the retail scheme. Four further units are planned, ranging in size from 4,900sq ft to 20,200sq ft.
Terry Freer, cabinet member for planning and growth on Kettering Council, said: “Dunelm Mill’s investment in Kettering is a boost for the local economy, a vote of confidence in the town and a big extra draw for shoppers to come into Kettering.
“It also means we can finally see the regeneration of the old cattle market site in Northfield Avenue, which has been unused for nearly 20 years.”
Robert Mullen, 67, of Brambleside, Kettering, said: “It’s a great idea. We are sadly lacking of that kind of stuff in the town.
“It’s brilliant news.”
The development, which may also include a gardening and DIY centre, proved controversial when waved through by councillors in 2010.
Kettering Council gave the plans the green light despite its stated policy against out-of-town retail developments.
It turned down Sainsbury’s application to build a supermarket at Magnetic Park, Desborough, because it was away from the town centre.
Robert Mullen, 67, of Brambleside, Kettering, said: “It’s a pity we are building on the outside of town but there’s no room in the town centre.”