Orbit bags Decathlon for Middlebrook

Terms have been agreed to bring the sports equipment retailer to the out-of-town estate, with Decathlon signing for 22,174 sq ft in a move from the town centre’s Bolton Shopping Park.

In all, 54,526 sq ft has been let in the year so far, as renewals of around 10,000 sq ft each were secured with Bensons for Beds and Furniture Village, along with the Chiquito and Bella Italia restaurants.

New deals have been secured with start-up burger joint The Confessional on 3,000 sq ft and dessert bar Cakeaway on 1,000 sq ft. Orbit said that Middlebrook is now reaching pre-pandemic visitor numbers again.

Mexican and Italian restaurant chains Chiquito and Bella Italia’s units are 4,000 sq ft and 3,819 sq ft respectively. The renewal of terms with Chiquito, part of The Restaurant Group, follows a series of reopenings for the brand since August last year. Bella Italia is part of the Casual Dining Group.

Mark Hanna, senior retail leasing surveyor at Orbit Developments, said the uplift was positive news for the park: “There has been significant interest in restaurant unit lettings again as we have started to emerge from the pandemic.

“It’s been a turbulent time for the sector and the wider retail market as a whole and we have worked hard to assist and accommodate businesses wherever we can.”

Robert Hallworth, centre manager, said, “As restrictions have lifted, we have seen very strong footfall and sales throughout the stores and a quicker than expected return in consumer confidence.”

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