PLANS for a £17 million retail and leisure park in north Lancashire have been unveiled.

Ilkley-based Opus North wants to build a 100,000 sq ft complex of fashion shops, a hotel, a family pub, restaurants and 376 parking spaces, creating 500 jobs.

The development would be sited on the former Frontierland fairground, Morecambe, which shut down in 2000.

Supermarket giant Morrisons, which has a shop adjacent to the site, bought the land in 2001 with the aim of opening a shopping complex, but failed to turn plans into reality. Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris met with Opus North and said he welcomed the proposals.

“I will be working with the developers to ensure it enhances the front at Morecambe, and I hope it will give visitors to the town and people who live nearby access to a range of retail outlets, as well as visiting the existing shops and restaurants in Morecambe,” he added.

Two public exhibitions of the plans were held at Morecambe Superbowl at the end of November and Andrew Duncan, managing director of Opus North, said reaction from residents was ‘extremely positive’.

He added that several well-known fashion stores were interested in coming to the new retail and leisure park.

“It is our intention to create a lasting legacy of jobs and investment for Morecambe,” he said. “For the past 12 years, this site has proved difficult to develop. Now, however, we believe we have devised plans that will create a thriving retail and leisure park of which Morecambe can be proud.

“This is the only retail development of a comparable size that is scheduled to open in the Morecambe and Lancaster region before 2017. It will provide a massive boost to the local economy and regenerate an area of the bay that has fallen into disrepair in recent years.”

The planning application will be submitted to Lancaster City Council at the end of February.