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News - 4 September 2003

City Centre Retail Eyes Birmingham Experience

With the opening of the newly refurbished 110,000 sq metre BullRing today in Brimingham many other towns are watching the experiment to see if large scale city centre retail development can compete with the attractions of out of town shopping.

The £500m scheme has nearly 150 retailers already signed up over a third of which are brand new to the city. Between 26m and 30m shoppers are expected in the first year.

Large multiple retailers are always looking for space in new locations but for the really big boys the opportunities are few and far between because of changes in planning laws that are limiting out of town developments. New opportunities are now firmly lodged in city centres and Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool are all known to be considering similar schemes.

The scope for further large scale development in Brighton city centre is limited by a shortage of sites. The North Street Quadrant, Jubilee Street and Station Goodsyard sites are already earmarked for development and there are no other obvious possibilities. There may be scope for further expansion of the Churchill Square shopping centre (refurbished in 1998) but this will hinge upon developments at the Brighton Centre.

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