Developer plans Bicester-style outlet village in Northern England
The North of England could be in line for a major luxury shopping village along the lines of Bicester Village, the hugely successful outlet centre near Oxford in Southern England.
An application for a major development will be submitted this week by FI Real Estate Management to be located at Botany Bay, in Chorley, Lancashire. The company is saying it will provide a big boost to jobs in the region and expects the proposed development to be a tourist magnet in the area that will attract visitors from all over the Uk and beyond.
The outlet stores at Bicester Village currently attract 6.3 million shoppers a year and the centre is the second most visited UK location by high spending Chinese Tourists after Buckingham Palace.
The planned Chorley outlet village would cover an 8.7 hectare site with around 70 store units built around a pedestrian street. There would also be cafés and restaurants built overlooking the adjacent canal.
The developers said they will target major global luxury names as tenants for the village that would be located near junction eight of the M61 motorway. The area currenlty has a shop[ing centre called Botany Bay, although the fashion offer there is small.
As well as hopefully being on the tourist trail, the propsoed centre would have its own ready-made consumer base with the development including plans for a large number of homes to be built.
The area has long been on the local authority’s radar as a potential development site and ideas for an outlet mall have been discussed more than once in the past few decades.
However, while there is significant local support for the latest plans, there is also some opposition. Local media said that while residents support the idea of transforming what is currently scrubland, some are concerned about potential traffic problems and also would prefer more ‘affordable’ brands to open in the area.
There are also concerns that a successful outlet village could cannibalise sales from town centre stores.
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