Ely Court makeover sees footfall boost as new retailers take an interest in RVP

Ely Court makeover sees footfall boost as new retailers take an interest in RVP

Senior executives from the developers also say retailers have shown a renewed interest in the shopping centre after plans for an £11million renovation were announced earlier this year.

British Land made the disclosure during a meeting with Conservative parliamentary candidate and former MP Greg Clark at their London headquarters this week.

The former Business Secretary was there on request of local traders who wanted to know what the developer’s plans are for the shopping centre.

A spokesman for Mr Clark said traders in the town have been concerned about the number of empty units in the shopping centre as they are reliant on Royal Victoria Place to drive footfall for the rest of the town centre.

The shopping centre has suffered a number of high profile closures in the last couple of years, not least the demise of BHS – its former unit still stands empty.

After purchasing the shopping centre for £80million in May 2018, British Land immediately shelved plans put forward by previous owners Hermes for a £70million upgrade that would have included a cinema.

British Land said the plans were ‘outdated’ and instead announced an £11million facelift that will see enhanced visitor facilities within the malls, including refurbished toilets and modernised signage once the works are completed next summer.

The company has also revamped Ely Court, where more than a dozen units sat empty, turning it into a food-hall, which opened earlier this month.

Now British Land has disclosed that the street food market has already seen a ten percent increase in footfall for the whole shopping centre.

They also said that new brands were expected to open in Royal Victoria Place in the New Year in anticipation of the £11million revamp.

Mr Clark told the developers Royal Victoria Place must be made an attractive destination for residents and visitors and said improving the car park should be a priority.

He said: “I have enjoyed eating in Ely Court since it opened and it is great to see it attracting trade.

“British Land are a crucial investor in our town and if I am re-elected I will hold them to their promise to rejuvenate the centre.”

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