Speke Unit Trust, the specialist retail park fund advised by British Land and managed by Schroders, has exchanged contracts with Cineworld for an 11-screen cinema, including state-of-the-art Superscreen technology at New Mersey Shopping Park, Speke.
The letting to Cineworld follows the receipt of planning permission from Liverpool City Council in July 2015 for a new leisure extension and wider upgrade works at the park. The works are scheduled to commence in early 2016 and are expected to generate between 250 and 300 local jobs.
The 66,000 sq ft extension will house not only a cinema but also six exciting new restaurants. As part of the park-wide upgrade works, new shop frontages will be installed and public areas enhanced to improve the look and feel of the asset. The planned works will also provide a better car park layout and additional parking spaces to improve the occupier and shopper experience.
The approval of the planning application follows extensive pre-application consultation with the Council, the Mayor, shoppers and local residents.
British Land has also recently leased space to Next, Harveys, Currys/PC World and Tessuti at Speke. Next has signed for a 48,000 sq ft unit on a 15 year lease, with Harveys moving to a 17,500 sq ft unit on a 10 year lease. Harveys’ existing unit, located amongst the park’s fashion brands, will be let to a retailer that will better complement the existing fashion mix. Currys/PC World recently opened a new 28,000 sq ft unit and Tessuti has recently signed for an 8,000 sq ft store at Speke.
James Varley, asset manager, British Land, said: “Planning approval for the leisure extension and upgrade works at New Mersey means we can significantly improve the asset for both our shoppers and retailers, further confirming the park’s position as the retail and leisure destination of choice in South Liverpool. Customer exit surveys conducted at Speke showed demand for a cinema and a better F&B mix and we have responded to this feedback by introducing Cineworld and a range of exciting restaurant brands to the asset.”
Kevin Frost, Cineworld, said: “We have partnered with British Land across a number of their assets and we are delighted to be opening a brand new cinema at Speke with our state-of-the-art Superscreen projection and sound technology. New Mersey is a fantastic shopping and leisure destination and we are excited to be part of the new leisure extension which will undoubtedly enhance the appeal of the park.”