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Big boost for Westfield site as top stores sign up
The Australian developer, which is still yet to give a date for when work will begin on the £275 million scheme, will lease a 63,000 sq ft anchor store to M&S and has also confirmed retailer Next as a tenant.
Agreements have now been reached for more than a third of retail space available at the site, with Next due to occupy a 32,000 sq ft store and Debenhams already signed as an anchor tenant.
The M&S deal completes Westfield ’s anchor store negotiations for the scheme, for which planning permission was granted last year for 550,000 sq ft of retail and catering outlets, more than 70 shops and restaurants, 1,300 car park spaces and new public areas.
Duncan Bower, Westfield director of development said: “Since gaining the planning consent from Bradford Council, Westfield has been working closely with Marks & Spencer over many months to confirm store details and finalise the agreement. We are delighted that Marks & Spencer and Next share our vision to deliver a highly desirable retailer proposition for the people of Bradford.
“We are confident that the successful signing of two strong anchor tenants, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, along with leading retailer Next, will be a catalyst to attracting further retailers to those already under negotiation.”
Clem Constantine, head of property at M&S, said: “We are pleased to officially sign up to the Broadway development. Marks & Spencer is a key anchor store for Westfield’s shopping centres in the UK and we are confident that Westfield will deliver another outstanding shopping centre for Bradford.”
The new Next store will be the second in Bradford and the largest in the city.
Andrew Varley, the company’s head of property, said: “The Next store in the Broadway development will be our second but much larger store in Bradford which demonstrates the confidence we have in the city and the scheme.
“We know that Westfield develops high quality shopping centres and we are proud to announce our commitment to the scheme and to Bradford. ”
Westfield is continuing negotiations to secure the remaining pre-lets required before construction work can recommence on the development but would not reveal how many agreements would need to be reached.
Leader of Bradford Council Councillor David Green said: “This is a significant milestone for the project proving that Westfield, during these tough economic times, has remained committed to Bradford and has continued to progress the scheme and work with retailers in the background.
“The commitment Marks & Spencer, Next and Debenhams have made to the scheme demonstrates their confidence in Bradford and Westfield to deliver. We welcome other retailers to take their lead and come to Bradford. There is huge demand and desire for great shopping in Bradford, which I am confident will provide retailers with a great trading opportunity.”
Stephen Wright, president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, also welcomed the announcement.
He said: “It shows that major retailers do have the confidence to invest here and that Westfield remains committed to the scheme. We think that this will now act as an incentive for other retailers to come forward and sign up to the scheme. I hope that further pre-let announcements will be secured shortly and that a date for construction will be given soon.”
Mr Bower added: “Westfield shares the communities’ common goal to get this development started as soon as possible. Westfield is committed to Bradford and is working closely with the Council and all interested stakeholders to market Bradford and our Broadway scheme as a significant retail opportunity and attractive new destination.
“Westfield is in serious discussions with many well known retailers who have expressed strong demand in the centre and further announcements will be made as soon as deals have been exchanged.”