Brief overview of some recent developments and new ones scheduled to open in 2015.
With the likes of Grand Central Birmingham and Mall of Scandinavia scheduled to open later this year, and George Osborne's pre-election budget including money for regeneration schemes in Brent Cross and Croydon, the shopping centre scene is certainly an evolving one.
The progression of shopping centres as must-visit destinations has seen malls incorporate a variety of activities – dining areas, cinemas, bowling, arcades and special play areas for children. It's more than just a visit to the shops; it's a whole day out filled with dinner and entertainment. 2015 will see a number of new destinations opening.
Grand Central Birmingham
This year sees the biggest shake-up in retail in Birmingham since the Bullring opened in 2003. Innovative malls are being built, new stores are coming and the old centres are going through the transformation so they can both compliment and compete with the new developments.
The Mailbox will open its redeveloped retail space in phases from July, culminating in a celebration event in September. Harvey Nichols at the Mailbox is currently undergoing a major renovation by Sterling Prize winner Stanton Williams, and the store is also doubling in size.
Grand Central Birmingham is due for completion in the second half of the year. The development will be home to more than 40 premium fashion and lifestyle shops, including a 23,225 sq m John Lewis anchor store, alongside 20 cafes and restaurants.
The Pavilions was once Birmingham's prestige shopping centre but has lost some retailers due to the competition in the area. Shops still operating include Laura Ashley, Moss Suit Company, L'Occitane, H&M and Evans, with an opening to Marks and Spencer at the end. Primark bought the centre last year with plans to create a four-floor superstore.
Resorts World is thought to be the biggest leisure and entertainment destination in the UK and the whole of Western Europe. The development is located adjacent to the NEC and will include 50 shops, a hotel, spa, restaurants, bars, casino and 11-screen cinema.
Mall of Scandinavia
Scheduled to open in autumn 2015, Unibail-Rodamco's Mall of Scandinavia offers a high-level range of shops, restaurants and services. Here, shopping is combined with entertainment, restaurants, cinema and service in a way that is completely one-of-a-kind for the Swedish market. The 100,000 sq m development will comprise 230 stores and 22 restaurants. Flagship stores will include Sweden's first ever Disney store, Superdry and the first ever Michael Kors in a Swedish shopping centre. Others include H&M which will take three stores, Cos and Starbucks. It will also house a 6,000 sq m Åhléns department store across two levels. Popular Swedish supermarket Hemköp will also take a unit, alongside the country's only liquor store, Systembolaget, and ICA grocery. The Designer Gallery will be a dedicated area for contemporary and premium retailers.
intu Milton Keynes
Plans to remodel and transform parts of intu Milton Keynes have been unveiled. Proposals from intu for the prime 39,948 sq m shopping centre will, according to the company, see one of the most significant retail and leisure developments central Milton Keynes has seen in over a decade.
Work focuses on remodelling the centrally connected Midsummer Boulevard area. A new dining quarter, over two levels, will deliver a choice of places to eat in a relaxed and comfortable environment. A five-screen boutique cinema will provide an alternative cinema experience with luxurious seating and high-quality food offer.
External green public spaces will provide a platform for community events and entertainment as well as a relaxing area for lunchtime workers and families, retaining intu Milton Keynes’ position at the heart of the community.
The Broadway Bradford
Owned by Meyer Bergman with Westfield acting as the development partner, The Broadway in Bradford is a £260m development located in the heart of the city. Work began at the end of 2013, with the shopping centre scheduled for completion at the end of 2015. It will comprise 52,954 sq m of floor space, with 70 retail units anchored by Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Next.
In March, the Westgate Oxford Alliance, a joint venture between Land Securities and The Crown Estate, confirmed the appointment of Laing O'Rourke as the principal contractor for Westgate Oxford. Chapman Taylor has been appointed as the Delivery Architects on the new £440m retail and leisure development. The 74,300 sq m scheme will create a contemporary retail environment in four separate building blocks surrounded by new public routes and spaces. It will include more than 100 stores, 25 restaurants and cafes, a boutique cinema and rooftop terrace dining.
Over the next few years, the Croydon Partnership will transform the town's two main shopping centres, Whitgift and Centrale, into a retail and leisure destination that will reposition Croydon as a key place to shop, work and live in south London. The London Borough of Croydon has resolved to grant planning permission for the Croydon Partnership’s outline planning application for the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre, marking a significant step forward in Westfield and Hammerson’s plans to regenerate Croydon’s retail town centre.
Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield will undergo a £50m refurbishment programme to the mark its 25th anniversary. Work will begin later this year and finish in 2017, and will create distinct districts within the centre, each with a different finish including wood and punctured metal. The works will also enable a number of retailers to install double height shop fronts. Other plans include new way finding, mall seating and lighting, as well as a dramatic lighting artwork.
Brent Cross Cricklewood
Brent Cross Cricklewood is a planned new town centre development in Cricklewood, by Hammerson and Standard Life. The development will include 7,500 homes, 370,000 sq m of offices, four parks, transport improvements and a 55,000 sq m extension of Brent Cross Shopping Centre. As well as a much wider range of shops, the site will comprise new evening entertainment to provide the area with a thriving night time economy, including a cinema, dining options and a network of covered streets and spaces.