£3m retail redevelopment begins in Burnley
Work has begun on the redevelopment of Burnley’s Charter Walk Shopping Centre. Contractors are on site and the new units will be ready from the Spring of 2014.Charter Walk is enjoying huge success, with only 2% of the shops empty compared with the national average of 12.5% (National Retail Consortium April 2013).
This new investment of about £3m follows further expansion in 2012 when JD Sports increased its floorspace from 3,000 sq ft to 8,000 sq ft and fashion chain Next relocated to a much bigger unit, quadrupling its floorspace to around 20,000 sq ft, signing a 15-year lease.The current scheme will concentrate on upgrading the Market Square area of the shopping centre. Once work is complete, fashion store River Island will double in size and other nationally-known retailers will move in. It’s estimated around 50 new jobs will be created.
The redevelopment will focus on reconfiguring the eastern side of the Market Square which has seen WH Smith and Superdrug relocate in recent months to make way for the upgrade. The works will involve removing the outdated first floor walkways in their entirety, recladding the elevation and creating 3 new double height retail units suitable for modern retailer requirements.Alex Wagstaff, a partner at Addington Capital LLP, said: “The new stores will be available from the Spring of 2014 and we are in advanced negotiations with national multiple retailers for the remaining units.” Burnley council chief executive Steve Rumbelow added: “This is another vote of confidence in Burnley and shows businesses understand that this is a great place to invest. That’s not a coincidence. These major fashion chains know that our two new university campuses, soon to be three when the University Technical College opens in September, mean that Burnley is getting younger”.