Rushden Lakes opens to the public, aims to redefine UK retail landscape

A major retail and leisure destination has launched in Northamptonshire combining big name fashion and boutique premium brands with lakeside dining and a range of outdoor leisure activities such as canoeing, cycling, walking and bird watching.


The centre is set in a 200-acre reserve - Photo: Rushden Lakes

The Crown Estate has launched phase of one of Rushden Lakes, delivering 230,000 sq ft of retail situated adjacent to stunning lakes and set in over 200 acres of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) reserve, operated in partnership with The Wildlife Trusts.

Developed by LXB, with their architects HPW, the first phase of Rushden Lakes sees more than 40 retailers, restaurants, cafés and leisure providers open their doors to the public.

Marks & Spencer has launched a full range store including home and instore cafe, and is joined at the scheme by Primark, New Look, Fat Face, JD Sports, Clarks, Boots, H&M and Pandora. Upmarket brands such as Jigsaw, White Stuff, Joules and L’Occitane have also a presence at the centre, while other brands including Hobbs, House of Fraser, Next, Phase Eight, River Island are also due to open standalone stores.


The Crown Estate launched the first phase of Rushden Lakes on 28 July - Photo: Rushden Lakes

The centre’s leisure focus is designed to connect with an audience that has an interest in outdoor activities, nature and wildlife. Victors can have access to the 1km nature trail around the lake and the broader Nene Valley, as well as the Wildlife Discovery Centre, which includes a children’s play area with an abandoned barge and otter holt, wildlife sculptures, and bird watching on the lake and via hidden cameras in inaccessible areas.

Additionally, boating experts Canoe2 provide hire of canoes, kayaks and swan pedalos on the lake, and offer short break adventures and camping across the Nene Valley.

“Rushden Lakes is the first of its kind; a shopping and leisure destination which combines big name fashion, premium retail and new brands coming to Northamptonshire for the first time. Rushden Lakes is not only shaped by its natural surroundings, it puts the environment at the heart of its offer. Our mission is to create brilliant places, and with Rushden Lakes we see this ambition becoming a ground-breaking reality,” said Hannah Milne, director of Regional Retail, at The Crown Estate.

“Rushden Lakes is every bit as good as we anticipated. It has been a pleasure, and an absolute privilege, to work with the local community who have poured their hearts into this venture in order to create a place which is unique and naturally different,” added Jon McCarthy, LXB.

Future phases of Rushden Lakes will deliver a 14-screen cinema from Cinemaworld, trampolining and more retail. Phase two is expected to open in 2019.

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