Monday, July 2, 2012

Swindon Designer Outlet expansion

 A planning application has been put in for the development of over 50,000 sq ft of new retail at the centre.  
Swindon Designer Outlet is managed by McArthurGlen, Europe’s leading designer outlet group. It is owned by Henderson Global Investors, as part of its UK Outlet Mall Fund, in which McArthurGlen is also an investor.

This new £35 million development at Swindon Designer Outlet involves the regeneration of the historic Long Shop, built in 1874 as part of the Grade II-listed Great Western Railway Works, one of the world’s most significant early railway works, and now home to Swindon Designer Outlet.  

The investment will not only enhance the existing centre, providing a new hub of desirable retail stores, but will also bring the total number of people employed at the centre from 750 to 1,100, adding an estimated further 350 jobs.

Once converted, the Long Shop, located opposite STEAM – the Museum of the Great Western Railways, will house up to 30 new retail units. This will enable Swindon Designer Outlet to increase its offer and at the same time to ensure the conservation of the buildings of the Great Western Railway Works’ Railway Heritage Area.

The new development is part of a much larger master plan 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 a food quarter and restaurant units.. The new Long Shop area will include existing brands relocated from within the centre.

Tina Cumpstey, McArthur Glen centre manager, at Swindon Designer Outlet, said: “The regeneration represents a significant investment to the centre and will breathe new life into the Long Shop as well as welcoming up to 30 new retail stores to our existing offering of leading premium, designer and high-street brands. By bringing the centre into a new league of retail destination, this will attract more shoppers not only to Swindon Designer Outlet but also to Swindon.”

Andrew Rich, fund manager for the Henderson UK Outlet Mall Fund, added: “Investment in retail properties is a major part of Henderson’s total £12.5 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.”

Stephen Harty, Director, Pod Architects said: “An important part of this development scheme has been to ensure the conservation of the Long Shop’s original structure, keeping intervention to a minimum.. With this in mind the new build will work with the architectural heritage of the building, incorporating it within the design of the build while enhancing and maintaining the historic fabric of the centre and the Long Shop.”

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