Shopping Centre

Whitefriars: a new streetscape for Canterbury

Whitefriars launch boost Canterbury

Published:  01 September, 2005

Six years of hard construction slog – which followed even more years of detailed planning work – finally came to fruition on 6 September 2005 with the formal opening of Land Securities’ award-winning £140m Whitefriars project in the medieval heart of Canterbury, Kent.

Anchors are a 116,000 sq ft Fenwick’s department store, 38,000 sq ft for Boots, a 35,400 sq ft standalone Next store and a 25,000 sq ft Tesco Metro. There are 44 other units – many of them new names for the city. Extension and reconfiguration of the existing M&S, plus provision of new bridge links between M&S and Bhs to the new 530-space multi-storey car park has also taken place.

The new centre, with its network of streets and public squares, forms part of a new ‘Whitefriars Quarter’ at the heart of the historic city’s retail offer. The new retail quarter takes in the covered Marlowe Arcade, Longmarket and the Clock Tower which Land Securities says will house, in the near future, a quality catering offer with interior and exterior seating.

Land Securities’ chief executive Francis Salway said development will continue with the opening of Café Rouge, a redevelopment at the corner of Rose Street and St George Street, where planning consent has already been obtained, the division of the existing Topshop store into two modern units and the upgrading and repositioning of Marlowe Arcade to target up-market fashion brands. Work will begin early next year.

And a new ‘cycle centre’ offering cycle storage, servicing and retail, plus changing facilities etc for public transport personnel from the new bus station is expected to be open by Christmas.

Architect was Chapman Taylor, and letting agents were Churston Heard and Leslie Furness.

By Eric Williams