Permission has been granted for the development of a major leisure extension in Telford Shopping Centre, including 38,000 sq.ft of F&B space available to eight restaurant units.
The development also includes a nine-screen Odeon Multiplex cinema, immediate access to over 1,600 parking spaces and a remodelled entrance to an adjacent Debenhams store.
Graeme Carver, a marketing consultant for the Aspects Partnership, which is overseeing the development, told BigHospitality that there’s already been a ‘fair amount of interest’ for the restaurant space, with some contracts set to be signed in the next few days.
“They’re pretty dominant spaces,” he explained. “It’s really rare that space like this actually comes up and is available.
“What’s good about this is that it’s actually directly in the middle of the Shopping Centre - it’s a really clever architectural design; the direct neighbour is a Debenhams store which is a major anchor for footfall.
“Right now, the catering offer at Telford Shopping Centre is comparatively thin when you look at other shopping centres around city centres. So you’ve got seven units directly in the middle of the shopping centre, in an area where F&B is really underprovided.”
Great catchment opportunity
Situated 30 miles south of Birmingham, Telford Shopping Centre is the largest in Shropshire and is ranked among the top 20 in the UK in terms of size, measuring over a million square feet prior to this new development.
Speaking of the type of restaurants that would suit the new space, Carver added: “The Shopping Centre’s main strength is in attracting what you might call the ‘major, important’ market.
But because of where it sits regionally, it’s got as really great catchment opportunity for market growth as well; you can see in the retail space in Telford that there’s already a movement towards a more ‘upscale’ market.
“If I were an operator, I’d be thinking that I’m actually getting two bites of the cherry here.”
The funding for the new development is being provided by AREA Property Partners, which submitted the initial planning permission request to the Telford Council Plans Board. The Shopping Centre’s owners, Hark & Apollo, have control of the main shopping area.
Details of specific restaurants securing one of the eight units are yet to be released as contract negations are on-going. The new development within Telford Shopping Centre is set to be unveiled in late 2013/early 2014.
Shopping centre restaurants
Earlier this year, BigHospitality reported that the intense competition for prime city-centre restaurant sites is spreading rapidly into shopping centres across the UK, as landlords, established food concepts and emerging brands are increasingly recognising the potential of such high-footfall locations.
The recently-launched Westfield Stratford City saw over 70 food and beverage (F&B) outlets secure sites for its opening last year, while Galvin Restaurants, Richard Corrigan , Pan Chai and Mango Tree will all open at Harrods later this year.