Ashford Designer Outlet expansion moves forward
McArthurGlen has confirmed the next step in the expansion of Ashford Designer Outlet, which will add an extra 100,000 sq ft with up to 50 new retail spaces to the premium and luxury shopping destination.
Following the grant of planning permission in September 2015, McArthurGlen has appointed McLaren Construction to work on the £90 million Phase II extension.
Scheduled to open in autumn 2019, the extension will also deliver a new food piazza, an events space and a redesigned children’s play area, as well as 725 new parking spaces.
And there will be a new focus on sustainability with the installation of Europe’s largest living wall structure. Many of the stores in the new phase will be clad in tens of thousands of plants, all stacked vertically, in an effort to integrate nature into the retail centre.
Claude Hargreave, Regional Development Director at McArthurGlen, said: “After four years of meticulous planning we’re incredibly excited to confirm that building works on the extension will commence this January. Over the next 18 months we will be investing £90 million into the centre to elevate the whole shopping experience for our guests and the retail environment for our brand partners.”
With annual footfall of 3.6 million guests, Ashford Outlet Centre has attracted several new premium and luxury brands over the past three years, including Calvin Klein, All Saints, Diesel, Cath Kidston, Osprey London, Jack Wills, Timberland and Abercrombie & Fitch. And more sought after brands are expected to sign up for the new extension.
The expansion will generate over 500 jobs and include a complimentary shuttle bus linking the outlet, the town centre and the international train station at weekends and during the school holidays.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “The expansion of the Designer Outlet will transform it into one of the UK’s premier outlet centres, enhancing the shopping experience and providing a complementary offer to our town centre. This news illustrates the confidence that major investors have in Ashford and the borough’s future.”
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