Wave of new retailers join "thriving" Preston shopping centre as owners announce food court plans will be resurrected
"The bounce back is bright".
That's the message from the new owners of Preston' s St George's Shopping Centre, who say confidence in the city centre's future is booming after the Covid set-back.
The centre was bought out of administation in August by the Blackburn-based Adhan Group, who see it as the "jewel in its crown."
>>>Click here to see retro pictures of the shopping centre.
As well as announcing plans in September to resurrect a food court, already six new retailers have put pen to paper on lettings, and footfall is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
"The new owners have had a huge impact", a spokesman for the centre said.
""In a short space of time, they have managed to fill empty shops, and because a lot of work has gone into things like one-way systems and sanitisation, people are confident to come and trust that we're Covid-safe."
The six recent lettings include retailers Originals, Cloth & Co, VIP and The A World. Footasylum, one of the leading retailers of fashion streetwear and sportswear has also exteded its St George's store to almost double the size.
"Advanced discussions" are also underway between the new owner and food operators for the food quarter, which was first mooted in early 2020, but halted when the centre fell into administration. Formal announcements are set to be made in the first financial quarter of 2022.
>>>Click here to read more about the food quarter plans.
A spokesman said: "The new owners have picked this up again and some really exciting conversations are being had.
"I think people still want the experience of shopping. We've all got smart phones and tablets, but people want the whole experience of coming out with their friends, browsing, going for something to eat and drink all in the same place."
Andrew Stringer, Centre Manager at St George’s for nine years said: “It has been fantastic working with the new owners over the last few months and we are delighted to have secured six new lettings in such a short space of time, the Footasylum extension as an example will be a firm favorite with our customers.
"This recent spate of new lettings is testament to the hard work of the team and the vision for the centre going forward. St George’s Shopping Centre is a prime shopping destination in Preston and a desirable location for retailers. We look forward to sharing more news over the coming weeks.”