As the number of regeneration projects ongoing in the UK continues to gather pace, developers are increasingly turning their attention to towns which have somewhat fallen into disrepair and urgently require an overhaul of leisure and retail attractions.
In Rhyl, North Wales, this has come in the form of the Marina Quay scheme, where developers Scarborough Group have this week announced the letting of the development’s anchor unit to home, garden and leisure retail chain The Range.
Although construction on the highly anticipated site is yet to begin, The Range has agreed to take out a 20 year lease on the 35,000 square foot retail unit, thereby becoming the anchor tenant for the 16 acre mixed use scheme. Under advice from Harvey Spack Field and Rawstron Johnson, the retailer also snapped up a 5,000 square foot external garden centre as a means of showcasing its full range of products.
Associate director at the Scarborough Group, Kate Howe, believes the inclusion of The Range in the scheme will attract a high number of consumers.
She says; “The Range letting is an important and welcome milestone for the Marina Quay site.
“It will enable us to bring forward the development, thereby providing the significant regeneration of a challenging brownfield site and providing an exciting retail and leisure scheme which will provide local jobs, encourage visitors to Rhyl and compliment the surrounding natural environment.”
Since acquiring the site in 2010 following the administration of the previous owners, the Scarborough Group has worked tirelessly to secure the future of Rhyl’s former fairground site, rebranding the scheme as Marina Quay from the previously known Ocean Plaza.
A major milestone took place in November of last year when the group secured a deliverable planning consent for the development, allowing for the construction of up to 74,800 square feet of open A1 use and 44,100 square feet of additional A1 non-food retail, café and restaurant space along with a family pub and a hotel.
Marina Quay is expected to create around 500 new jobs, many of which will be part time and therefore highly attractive to students, single parents and school leavers keen to join the jobs market. With this in mind, the Scarborough Group is keen to work with the local council to ensure adequate training can be provided through existing local authority bodies and initiatives.
Looking forward, Ms Howe revealed that the group will now submit a reserved matters application concerning the first phase of the development. Should this gain approval, construction work is expected to begin in the near future.
She concludes; “Marina Quay is located on a unique and prominent position on the Marina’s frontage, yet is only a short stroll from the town centre.
“As a result, we have received significant interest from national and local occupiers who recognise the site’s potential.
“We anticipate that the main construction contract will start in early 2016, subject to our reserved matters application being acceptable to the Local Authority.”
Do you think this development will help to attract tourists to Rhyl, or are established rival centres in nearby Chester and Liverpool a greater draw?