New St George’s Shopping Centre owner vows to resurrect ambitious Friargate food quarter plans
The new owner of Preston’s St George’s Shopping Centre has vowed to resurrect plans for a Friargate restaurant/bar quarter, more than 14 months after the scheme was halted.
The Adhan Group, which bought the city centre mall out of administration, says it will be reviewing the project with Preston Council over the next few weeks to “create an exciting and coordinated vision” for that part of St George’s.
The restaurant quarter plan, which had attracted interest from chains including Mowgli and The Botanist, stalled in June 2020, with previous owners InfraRed (IRAF Dragon Ltd) citing the Covid pandemic as one of the reasons.
The shopping centre went into administration in February this year, casting doubt on whether the scheme for five units fronting Friargate would ever be realised.
Mowgli owner Nisha Katona decided to look elsewhere after work on the restaurant quarter was shelved. But she has since reaffirmed her interest in opening a restaurant in Preston.
“It’s not because of rents or any of our dealings with the wonderful city of Preston, it’s because the entire scheme that we were going to be part of is sadly stalled.
“If it resurrects in good time, so will our dreams of a Mowgli Preston.”
New owner Adhan says it intends to return that section of St George’s “to trading status as soon as possible.”
The company told the Post: “With reference to the bar and leisure scheme to the Friargate side of the centre our retail arm will be reviewing these plans over the coming few weeks in conjunction with the local council to ensure we create an exciting and coordinated vision for this area.
“We will be seeking to liaise with all major stakeholders in the locality to ensure that this area of the centre is returned to trading status as soon as possible in a format which we believe will benefit the whole city.
“It remains an exciting period of change for the city as a whole and The Adhan Group look forward to contributing to this development.”
The group also say they will be reviewing the infrastructure of the shopping centre to improve customer engagement, increase footfall.
“The group hopes to bring a new energy to the centre through the introduction of a number of new brands who have not been seen in the city before.”