Whiteley shopping centre opens for business
The 320,000 sq ft scheme, which is jointly owned by British Land and Universities Superannuation Scheme, is due to open at 11am with a countdown culminating in the release of a giant heliosphere and acrobatic performances. The launch will continue over the next four days with a range of events featuring entertainers, fashion workshops, musical entertainment and children’s activities.
The £84 million centre has 58 shops and restaurants and is anchored by a 60,000 sq ft Marks and Spencer store. The scheme also incorporates The Treehouse, a dedicated pop-up event and shopping space.
Charles Maudsley, head of retail for British Land, said: "Whiteley incorporates elements from both shopping centres and retail parks and is a great example of next generation retail space. We have integrated the latest technology to provide an exceptional environment and landlord services, including free wi-fi, that will satisfy the evolving needs of both retailers and customers."
Graham Burnett, head of property for USS, added: "We are particularly proud of the high quality, sustainable credentials of this scheme and the way in which the combination of local independent retailers and well-known brands makes this centre a real part of the community and will contribute to its long term relevance and success. It will be a pleasure marking Whiteley’s opening today with our partners, local community and shoppers."
The design of the shopping centre features contemporary shop units with double and triple height glazing and the use of natural materials including European oak panels. The public spaces and landscaped areas feature 15 specially commissioned bronze sculptures of woodland creatures.
The Treehouse, a pop-up event and shopping space, will be an incubator for new retailers and enable new concepts to be trialled.
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