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Red tape delays Vardy supersite

Reg Vardy insists that it hasn’t given up on its vision for the MetroCentre supersite in Gateshead despite planning delays that have curtailed building work.

Construction started in September 2004 but has been hampered as the Highways Agency carries out a traffic impact assessment.

The dealer group, however, is hopeful it will be completed by the end of the year. Its original vision was to have its used car MotorZone alongside Land Rover, Aston Martin and Jaguar dealerships at the MetroCentre.

It has now had to move its Newcastle Jaguar dealership, originally earmarked for the Metro- Centre, to the former Priory Rover dealership purchased earlier this month.

Vardy had to find a new location for its Jaguar operation after its leased site in the city, which it acquired from Dutton Forshaw in 2003, was bought by Honda.

The new base will require Jaguar signage and a refurbished showroom to bring it in line with the manufacturers standards. It is set to open on April 1. All Priory Rover staff have been retained and re-employed within the group.

“We feel that Jaguar has a strong history in the north of Newcastle and the Priory site is an excellent acquisition for the group,” says Robert Forrester, finance director for Reg Vardy. “The Jaguar brands will be well suited to this location and will serve the loyal customer base in the area.”

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