Queensberry Real Estate has secured Marks & Spencer (M&S) for its Friars Walk city centre regeneration scheme in Newport. The deal comes ahead of the 390,000sq ft retail and leisure scheme opening its doors on 12 November 2015.
M&S will serve as a focal part of the new development alongside 35 new retailers, including anchors Debenhams and Next, 11 new restaurant and leisure brands including Prezzo, Nando’s, Chiquitos, Cosmo and Frankie and Benny’s, as well as an eight-screen Cineworld multiplex cinema.
The M&S deal follows those with other recently-announced brands, including Mothercare, JD, Krispy Kreme, Occasions Cards, Pandora and Tiger.
Chris Daly, senior leasing manager, Queensberry Real Estate, said: “We are now 85 per cent let ahead of the opening of Friars Walk on 12 November. There has been high demand to bring M&S to Friars Walk and we see this as a really positive move for Newport. M&S Food remains very popular with consumers and we anticipate that its premium grocery offer will be an added customer draw.”
A spokesperson for M&S commented: “We are delighted to bring a new M&S Foodhall to the heart of Newport, and look forward to welcoming new and existing customers in the region. We will provide more information as the new store progresses.”
On completion, the scheme will provide an estimated 1,200 jobs, with salaries worth around £15 million a year to the local economy. This is in addition to the jobs created during the construction phase and the potential for local companies to be involved in the supply chain of the centre. The scheme boasts 350 parking spaces and a major new bus station interchange.
Friars Walk serves as the focal point of the comprehensive programme of regeneration underway in Newport, which has become one of Wales’ fastest growing towns. Lying between the River Usk and Newport’s existing retail core, the new development will be the centre of this activity and will bring much needed footfall back to the benefit of the existing high street as well as the new centre.
The letting agents for Friars Walk are Lunson Mitchenall, Cooke & Arkwright, Nick Young & Co and CBRE. M&S was represented by CBRE.