Northwich’s Barons Quay, developed by Cheshire West & Chester at a cost of £71m, is approaching nearly two-thirds full after retailer Card Factory agreed a move from its nearby premises in Weaver Square.
The retailer will move to a 2,000 sq ft unit at Barons Quay, relocating from its existing premises nearby, and joins other retail and leisure tenants Asda, Odeon, Wildwood, H&M, Sports Direct, and The Entertainer. Patisserie Valerie had also signed up for a unit, but the bakery and cafe chain has since entered administration.
Following the deal, the 225,000 sq ft development is around 62% full, which opened on a phased basis in 2016. As of April last year, it only had three tenants – Asda, Odeon, and Wildwood.
Overall, the project, which has been developed directly by Cheshire West & Chester, is projected to cost the council £71m.
However, it has been dealt a blow this month with the news that M&S will close its store, which sits opposite Asda in a unit built before Barons Quay was completed. This was announced as part of a series of store closures that will see a number of outlets shut in the coming months.
The council’s cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, Cllr Brian Clarke said: “This is welcome news that the Card Factory is expanding their offer in the town centre, which I know our residents will be pleased to hear.
“Over recent months several new retailers have opened in Barons Quay and we’re in advanced talks with several more businesses so hope to have more great news for the town this year.”
Card Factory’s decision to relocate from Weaver Square follows the council’s decision to develop a masterplan for the area, which will see much of the existing retail replaced with residential, a food hall, and a public services building. Fletcher Rae is on board as masterplanner.