PEEL Group have announced plans to regenerate the Lowry Outlet at Salford Quays with an investment of £13m.
The bid is an attempt to drive more people to the outlet which has been described as both ‘tired’ and ‘outdated’ by residents.
This is an ambitious move from the group, who acquired the centre for £70m in 2012 as they hope to double sales for the ailing retail space following the refurbishment.
The plans include wholesale changes to the centre’s exterior, with £3.5m ear-marked for a new quayside terrace and improved, external shop fronts.
The terrace will be home to at least six new restaurants, with further improvements to the lighting, escalators and infrastructure within the centre itself.
The plans should be welcomed by local residents, who said that bosses should focus on improvements to the ‘deserted’ centre in a poll conducted by the Manchester Evening News recently.
The poll followed rumours that the centre’s new bosses were to drop the painter LS Lowry’s name in favour of rebranding the centre as the ‘Lifestyle Outlet Manchester’.
Speaking with the same newspaper, Lifestyle Outlet managing director Jason Pullen said: “We want to increase circulation within and around the centre.
“We want to change the face of outlet shopping and redefine perceptions of what an outlet can be, because we believe it needs to be done.”
The ambitious announcement follows the approval of a planning application worth over £1bn, which the Peel Group says will lead MediaCityUK to “double in size” by 2026.
This could see more prestigious shops and brands moving to the centre, which already sees fierce competition from Intu’s nearby Trafford Centre.
However, with new residents and businesses arriving in the area, a thorough redevelopment of the Lowry Outlet could be just the tonic and reverse the centre’s fortunes for good.
By Stefan Jajecznyk