New tenants sign to Mill Gate

Michael Hunt

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has signed new retailers to its Mill Gate Shopping Centre in Bury.

Amongst the six new retailers in as many months is Costa, taking 1,712 sq ft, HMV, which occupied a 6,097 sq ft unit, and one of the centre's original retailers, David Spruce, doubled the size of its space to 3,091 sq ft.

SWIP said Mill Gate, the second largest centre within the group's portfolio, faces stiff competition following the opening of The Rock in July, which is owned by HBOS and managed by Hammerson and contains more than 600,000 sq ft of retail, although SWIP plans to improve areas of the 400,000 sq ft shopping centre.

SWIP declined to say what improvements were being planned when contacted by Place, but said it would improve the shopping centre's links to Bury's Metro and bus terminus.

SWIP, which invested almost £1m on the centre's 550-space car park, said Mill Gate regularly tops 300,000 shoppers a week on its footfall count.

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership said 80 lets were completed across its seven centres this year.

Peter Webb, senior investment manager at Scottish Widows, said: "We have joint agents across the portfolio – but one consistent throughout – and that is helping us to convert a range of opportunities at local, regional and national national levels throughout the seven centres. But it is the big three where we are seeing the most movement – and now have more than 34 retail partners consistent across Redditch, Bury and Banbury."

In Crewe, SWIP said it is reconfiguring The Market Shopping Centre to bring in retailers to meet the demand for more fashion. The 150,000 sq ft centre already has Argos, Iceland, Wilkinson as anchor tenants.

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