Nottingham Shopping Centre to Receive Substantial Refurbishment

Posted on 5 March, 2013 by Kirsten Kennedy

Nottingham’s Victoria Shopping Centre is to undergo £36 million worth of refurbishment work in a bid to draw consumers back to the city centre. This will be done as part of a £206 million investment owner Intu Properties – formerly known as Capital Shopping Centres – plans to channel into the city between 2016 and 2019.

The extent of the refurbishment plans has not yet been revealed, but blueprints are expected to go on display in spring after being approved by the Board of Directors for Intu.

Yet rumours have already begun flying around that the construction work to be done during the project will include a 500,000 sq ft extension of Victoria Centre, which will significantly add to the commercial space available and, Intu hopes, will pave the way for fashion retailers to take up stores in Nottingham.

Chief operating officer of Intu, Mike Butterworth, says; “We are very keen to get on with it and it is our number one priority.

“We are getting increasingly concerned about the deterioration of the Victoria Centre.

“It has fallen in value by about £25 million during the course of 2012 – we cannot let that carry on.”

While the refurbishment works will take around two years to complete, there may be a sticking point in getting the project off the ground in the first place: namely, a second shopping centre in Nottingham which Intu Properties has the responsibility of refurbishing.

Intu bought Broadmarsh Shopping Centre from Westfield almost 16 months ago with a view to upgrading it and forming a partnership with other retail giants in the area. This method has proven hugely successful in cities such as Bristol and Intu is no doubt hoping that a similar scheme could be established further north.

In order to complete Broadmarsh Intu set aside £150 million of the future £260 million investment, yet no start date has been set for the initial construction and development work the project will require.

Furthermore the city council has refused to grant planning permission for the Victoria Centre extension until work has begun on Broadmarsh, but Intu insists that they cannot progress with any work until the council has given them the go-ahead for the Victoria Centre extension. This is because Intu, again, wishes the shopping centres to work in harmony to attract consumers back into the city centre.

Mr Butterworth concludes; “We won’t embark upon the Victoria Centre extension until we have started the Broadmarsh redevelopment.

“We have said all along that we do not want a solution for the Broadmarsh Centre or the Victoria Centre in isolation.

“We want a solution which is for Nottingham city centre and which embraces both of them and ideally everything in between so there is a comprehensive plan.”

Do you think the shopping centres working together when completed will produce higher rates of footfall for Nottingham retail properties? Do you have a solution for Intu Properties and Nottingham city councils’ stalemate on the issue of planning and refurbishment proposals?

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