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UK developers build on success

Published:  25 April, 2013

2.7m sq ft of new UK shopping centre space to hit the market in the next 12-18 months

The UK shopping centre development market, boosted by the recent success of Trinity Leeds which launched 90 per cent pre-let last month (with 5 per cent in solicitors’ hands), is set to benefit from around 2.7 million sq ft of new space in the next 12-18 months as a flurry of projects edge closer to completion – according to research by Cushman & Wakefield.

With eight brand new centres and extensions to 11 existing schemes in the pipeline, the near future looks promising for shopping centre development in the UK.

Schemes which are expected to open this year include New Square in West Bromwich (475,000 sq ft); the Whiteley Shopping Centre in Fareham (300,000 sq ft), on the site of the former Whiteley Village factory outlet centre; and the refurbished Lewis’s Building in Liverpool city centre (170,000 sq ft), which forms part of the Central Village development. The largest scheme under construction which is set to open in 2014 is the Hereford Retail Quarter (310,000 sq ft).

However, the encouraging pipeline of shopping centre development in 2013 and 2014 is in stark contrast to the market’s performance over the last 12 months. In 2012, the UK recorded the lowest level of shopping centre development activity since 1962 with less than 400,000 sq ft of new shopping centre space was added to the market last 

Cushman & Wakefield’s head of shopping centre development, Toby Sykes, said: “The demand from quality retailers we have seen recently at Trinity Leeds simply confirms the appetite for prime retail space which can offer the right tenant mix. UK shopping centres are evolving and continuously adapting to the ever-changing nature of consumer behaviour – this will lead to increased development in the medium-term.”