McArthurGlen Swindon Designer Outlet has announced the successful approval of planning permission for the regeneration of the centre’s historic Long Shop.
Built in 1874 as part of the Grade II-listed Great Western Railway Works, the Long Shop will now be incorporated as part of the extension of Swindon Designer Outlet.
The centre is managed and was originally developed by McArthurGlen, Europe’s leading designer outlet group; and it is owned by the UK Outlet Mall Fund, which is managed by Henderson Global Investors and in which McArthurGlen is also an investor.
Approved plans for Swindon Designer Outlet, which opened in 1997, allow for:
A £35mn investment to enhance and expand the centre.
Development of nearly 50,000 sq ft of new retail space.
The creation of a new retail hub, including up to 30 additional stores.
Increasing the total number of people employed at the centre from 750 to 1,100 – adding an estimated 350 jobs.
The first phase of the development will include a redesigned food quarter, as well as introducing four new restaurants to the centre.
With conversion due to be completed in autumn 2014, the Long Shop is located opposite STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway. This will enable Swindon Designer Outlet to increase its offer, while ensuring the conservation of the buildings of the Great Western Railway Works’ Heritage Area.
The ultimate destination for savvy shoppers, Swindon Designer Outlet is currently home to over 90 stores and offers 207,000 sq ft of retail space. With the new investment, this will increase to around 120 stores and more than 250,000 sq ft of retail space. The centre is home to the most sought-after names in fashion, beauty, sportswear and homeware, offering year-round savings of up to 60 per cent. Leading brands at the centre include: Hugo Boss, Jaeger, LK Bennett, Next, Superdry, Ted Baker, Kurt Geiger and John Lewis Home Outlet.
The new development is part of a much larger master plan for the centre, including a strategy to make shopping even easier for consumers by grouping like brands together in special zones, namely premium/designer, high-street and lifestyle, as well as the food quarter and restaurant units. The new Long Shop area will include existing brands relocated from within the centre.
Tina Cumpstey, Centre Manager at McArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet, says: “Now that the planning application for the regeneration of the Long Shop has been successfully received and approved, we can begin the process of significantly extending our retail space, in particular bringing in more of the most sought-after brand names and to provide a truly inspiring restaurant offering. This is an exciting phase not only for Swindon Designer Outlet, but also for Swindon – creating up to 350 new jobs, and adding 30 new retail units to the centre. This will undoubtedly attract new shoppers to the area, including those within the accessible 90-minute drive time.”
Andrew Rich, Fund Manager for the Henderson UK Outlet Mall Fund, added: “We are delighted to have received planning permission for Swindon Designer Outlet. This will further establish the centre as the must-visit, shopping destination in the South West and immediate local area. Investment in retail properties is a major part of Henderson’s total £12.3 billion of property assets under management. Swindon is a very successful centre within our outlet mall portfolio, and the expansion is part of our investment strategy to continue to deliver strong performance for our investors.
Pictured: Computer generated artist’s impression of the new development.