John Lewis has signed up to anchor a retail scheme in Crawley.

John Lewis agreed the heads of terms of a leasehold agreement this week to take a 255,000 sq ft (23,630 sq m) department store to anchor the Town Centre North scheme that Grosvenor will develop.

It is scheduled to open in 2013, subject to the Town Centre North development receiving planning approval.

Ann Humphries, director of retail development, at John Lewis Partnership said: ‘The agreement demonstrates John Lewis’ confidence in the plans for improving the retail offer for Crawley and the Town Centre North. We have been very impressed by the work the Council and Grosvenor have done and are convinced the redeveloped town centre has a great future’

Crawley Borough Council selected Grosvenor to develop its proposed Town Centre North scheme in 2005.

The council is about to consult on the planning framework that will shape the site.

The scheme will include other retail units, leisure facilities, a hotel, a facility for a primary care trust, town centre residential development and a new town hall.