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Massive Metro is talk of the Tyne
Published:  01 October, 2004

Gateshead’s MetroCentre this month reclaimed its position as Europe’s largest shopping and leisure centre when it opened its new Red Mall.

The 371,000 sq ft mall – which includes a 180,000 sq ft Debenhams department store – has taken Capital Shopping Centres’ scheme to 1.78 million sq ft. The mall opened fully let.

Zara (20,071 sq ft), H&M (22,225 sq ft) and New Look (23,090 sq ft) have taken units and the 20-retailer line-up also includes Bershka’s first UK store.

Donald Gordon, chairman of CSC parent Liberty International – who was made an honorary BCSC member this month – said the mall kept MetroCentre at the forefront of modern shopping.

Among newcomers to Gateshead are Faith, French Connection, H&M, Jones Bootmaker, Mango, Pumpkin Patch, Schuh, The Pier, The Professional Cookware Company, USC and Zara.

The £85m project has provided a 1,100-space multi-storey car park, a public transport interchange, road, rail and infrastructure improvements and bus services. Units for Greggs and WH Smith have opened in the interchange.

MetroCentre, opened in 1986, offers 324 stores as well as a cinema, bowling alley and New Metroland, described as Europe’s only indoor theme park.

Its boast of being Europe’s largest retail and leisure scheme had been overtaken by Merry Hill and Bluewater.