British Land, joint owner of Meadowhall, one of the UK’s premier shopping destinations, is today celebrating the completion of the £60 million refurbishment of the centre. This marks the end of a two-year programme, during which £40 million was invested in store upgrades by more than 70 brands including existing and new additions to Meadowhall’s line-up.
This combined investment of £100 million has already made a positive impact on performance, with footfall on Black Friday up 8%, making it the busiest on record. The prime Zone A rental tone has risen to over £400, reflecting very strong demand for space with 30 new retailers signing in the last 18 months.
Darren Pearce, Meadowhall Centre Director, commented: “Meadowhall is now an even better place, with a much improved environment, an even more appealling offer and a more enjoyable, engaging experience for our customers. The feedback we have already received is overwhelmingly positive. As a team, we have long thought the investment was transforming Meadowhall, but are delighted sentiment is now being echoed by our customers, retailers and restaurants.
“Just as important, however, is the difference the investment has made to the community, with employment being focused on the local area via The Source and so many businesses in the area benefitting. Without doubt, this two-year project has brought Meadowhall and Sheffield closer together, which can only be a good thing for the long-term future of the Sheffield City Region.”
Charles Maudsley, Head of Retail, Leisure and Residential for British Land, said: “The transformation we have achieved at Meadowhall is a great example of how we have listened to our customers and responded to their needs to create space that works for shoppers and enables retailers to thrive in an omni-channel world. It also demonstrates the value we place in working in partnership with the community to deliver significant, long-lasting benefits to the Sheffield City Region.”
Claire Barber, Head of Meadowhall for British Land, added: “Meadowhall is a very different place as a result of our investment. It is lighter and brighter; the space is more modern and the offer is significantly enhanced so it is the first choice for shoppers across the region. Together with our longer term plans for the centre, Meadowhall has a great future as one of the leading retail and leisure destinations in the UK.”
Highlights of the refurbishment include:
· The creation of four districts each with a distinctive character and offer
· Columns and bulkheads have been reduced or removed creating lighter, brighter malls, with new glazing, improved lighting and new customer seating added
· Double height flagship formats introduced by brands, including All Saints and Hollister
· New brands added including the first-ever physical store for online retailer Joe Browns, as well as Michael Kors, Flannels, Urban Decay, Skinny Dip, Tag Heuer, iSmash, Diesel, Joules, Jack Wills, Neal’s Yard, Nespresso, T2, schuh Kids, Pret a Manger, GBK, Barburrito, and Tapas Revolution
· Upsizings or increased brand presence by Primark, River Island, Sports Direct, Build-A-Bear, JD Sports, Virgin Holidays and The Entertainer
· Redesigns by existing occupiers including House of Fraser, M&S, Yo! Sushi, Timberland, Ted Baker, and Molton Brown.
Through the transformation, British Land has delivered a range of benefits for the Sheffield City Region:
· Over 1,200 jobs were created to deliver the refurbishment, with 35% of the workforce living in Sheffield and 41% overall from the Sheffield City Region
· Almost 50% of the £60 million spend has been awarded to SMEs
· 70% of the project spend was made within 25 miles of Meadowhall, with 55% being spent in the Sheffield City Region
· Local companies employed on the transformation include Dearneside, SCS Group, EE Ingleton Engineering, Clearline, EMR and the Ron Hull Group.
The refurbishment of Meadowhall will be followed by the development of a Leisure Hall, which was granted planning consent in a unanimous vote by Sheffield City Council’s planning committee in September. The £300 million extension will add 330,000 sq ft of new catering and leisure to Meadowhall, as well as enhanced public realm and other amenities.