Green Light for Downtown Grantham Designer Outlet, UK
Freeport Retail’s planning application for a £125m designer outlet centre in Grantham, in partnership with leading Lincolnshire retailer Oldrids & Downtown, has been approved by South Kesteven District Council.
The decision paves the way for a scheme that will create more than 1,700 new jobs. Located on land surrounding the existing Downtown store adjacent to the A1 highway, the plans include a 220,425 sq ft designer outlet centre comprising 107 shops.
The proposals also include a new ‘Downtown at Home’ store, an indoor leisure unit, a new tourist information and visitor centre, and the redevelopment of the site’s existing garden centre to create a new and more modern environment.
The retail and leisure facilities will be complemented by space for new and growing businesses, including a high-tech hub and incubator start-up offices. In addition, the scheme includes the construction of a new training academy, which will be delivered in partnership with Grantham College.
Iestyn Roberts, Freeport Chief Executive commented:
“Freeport’s coming home! Following ‘The Village’, Lyon, winning ‘Best New Outlet Centre 2018’ at the prestigious MAPIC awards, we are bringing our expertise back to the UK. The Oldrids & Downtown site remains one of the few major locations which is not well-served by the outlet industry and will be our first new centre in the UK since 2005.
“We see the redevelopment and improvement of an existing retail location as a major plus. It will not take up greenfield land and the existing footfall of 2 million will be a significant asset to launching the development.”
Richard Broadhead, Managing Director of Oldrids & Downtown said:
“We’re delighted that the planning committee has approved this application and recognised the extensive benefits this exciting new scheme will bring to Grantham and the wider area. Our huge investment will significantly enhance the retail offer and bring a host of new facilities and job opportunities to the region. This is a major development, targeting premium retail brands that will attract visitors and tourists from far and wide, boosting the local economy.
“A massive amount of work has gone into this planning application and we are really grateful to everyone who has been involved in this process. There is huge support for our proposals from both the public and the business community. I would like to thank all those who have supported us for their ongoing enthusiasm and encouragement.”
Delivery of the scheme will also result in major investments in the local area, which will help improve transport infrastructure, road signage, public transport, town centre facilities, car park signage, tourism, education and training.