Experienced shopping centre manager David Laycock has moved from British Land's St Stephen's Centre in Hull to run Thornfield's new centre in Bury.
The Rock opens in summer 2010 and totals 1.6m sq ft. Already signed up are Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, Primark, River Island and Next, as well as Pizza Express, a 10-screen Vue Cinema and 24-lane AMF Bowling centre
St Stephen's was developed by ING Real Estate with funding from British Land and opened in 2007. Laycock was employed by Munroe K Asset Management which runs the Hull centre on British Land's behalf. Laycock and his team won plaudits and awards for launching St Stephen's and helping to drive visitor numbers in Hull.
Laycock also worked with Milligan on the opening of the Metquarter in Liverpool prior to joining British Land.
He said: "I relish the opportunity of launching The Rock to make Bury the premier retail town in the north of Greater Manchester and to broaden the town's appeal by sympathetically integrating the new with the established gems, such as Bury market.
"I aim to establish The Rock as the core entertainment, retail and residential heart of the region and bring the community closer together through focused events and retaining local shoppers while attracting new visitors to the town."