Green Light for £125m Designer Outlet Centre

Plans for a £125m designer outlet centre in Grantham, Lincolnshire, have been approved by South Kesteven District Council.

The proposals are being brought forward by independent retailer Oldrids & Downtown, a long-established business which has been trading in Lincolnshire for more than 200 years.

Spanning 220,425 sq ft, the designer outlet centre will be located adjacent to the A1, on land surrounding the existing Downtown store, and comprise 107 new shops. Freeport Retail, one of Europe’s leading developers and operators of designer outlet centres, has partnered with Oldrids & Downtown to deliver the development.

Richard Broadhead, Managing Director of Oldrids & Downtown said: “Our major investment will significantly enhance the retail offer both in Grantham and the wider area, and bring a host of new facilities and job opportunities to the region. The designer outlet centre will comprise premium tier one brands, many of which we already partner with. The development will attract more visitors and tourists to the area, boosting the local economy.

“This is an extremely impressive project and there is huge support for our proposals from both the public and the business community.”

Iestyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Freeport Retail added: “The Downtown site in Grantham is the ideal location for a premium outlet centre and represents one of the UK’s last strategic opportunities for a development of this size and quality. As an existing retail destination located close to the A1, the site already has a footfall of 2 million people per year, and we’re projecting to attract a further 3.5 million visitors to the area. These benefits combined with our strong retail relationships and the skills of the Oldrids & Downtown team, will enable us to rapidly develop and launch the new designer outlet centre.”

The scheme, which will create more than 1,700 jobs, also includes a new ‘Downtown at Home’ store, an indoor leisure unit, a new tourist information and visitor centre, and the redevelopment of the site’s existing garden centre.

The retail and leisure facilities will be complemented by space for new and growing businesses, including a high-tech hub and incubator start-up offices, as well as the construction of a new training academy.

The development has been designed by Brookerflynn Architects. Fisher German advised Oldrids & Downtown on planning matters and Cushman & Wakefield acted as strategic retail planning advisors.

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