Castle View in Lancaster

British Land plans £75m Lancaster retail revival

British Land has acquired the stalled retail development site, Canal Corridor North, in Lancaster city centre.

The area was originally expected to be developed by Centros but planning permission was refused at inquiry in 2010 after a lengthy battle with English Heritage.

Part of the development area, 2.3 acres, was sold to British Land by Mitchell's of Lancaster and includes the vendor's former brewery.

British Land also has a development agreement in place with Lancaster City Council for the acquisition of 7.7 acres next door to enable the delivery of a "significant canal-side, mixed-use scheme."

The scheme is likely to be around 300,000 sq ft and anchored by Debenhams, following suit with Centros' plan.

Richard Wise, head of retail development for British Land and former chief executive of Centros, said: "Bound to the east by the Lancaster Canal and with two working theatres, the site, which is next to the city centre, provides the only real opportunity to significantly improve the city's retail offer.

"Working closely with Lancaster City Council and English Heritage, our aim is to deliver a scheme that complements the site's historical setting. Lancaster has seen very little retail investment over the last two decades and we look forward to creating a retail and leisure destination to serve local people and attract significant numbers of visitors into the city.

"We are confident that a relatively modest initial investment could lead to a future development with a targeted end value of over £75m."

The developer is rumoured to be working with Centros as a consultant or potential joint venture partner on the plans for Lancaster.

British Land is assembling a pipeline of retail projects to develop around the country. Its current retail pipeline includes the extension of Broughton Shopping Park in Chester; the £90m forward funding of the Old Market scheme in Hereford city centre; the extension and refurbishment of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre in Canada Water; and the extension of Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh.

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