Marks & Spencer and Next are set to open new stores in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, as part of a £100m redevelopment of the town centre.
M&S has signed an agreement to relocate to a new 50,000ft2 store close to its current store in the town, more than doubling its floor space.
Next, not currently represented in Rochdale, is expected to do so imminently, and will occupy more than 22,000ft2 over two floors.
The two anchor signings will kick start more than 200,000ft2 of planned new retail and leisure accommodation in the centre of Rochdale, which will be delivered by a joint venture between Genr8 and Kajima Partnerships.
A spokesperson for M&S said: “We are delighted to be part of Rochdale’s regeneration. The store will create a bigger and better shopping experience in Rochdale and we look forward to welcoming existing and new customers when the store opens.”
A spokesperson for Next said: “We have been waiting for a long time for the right opportunity for representation in Rochdale. We think Genr8’s town centre proposals are really exciting and we’re delighted to confirm that Next are about to complete on a major store of more than 22,000ft2.
“We are confident that Genr8’s proposals will not only form a comprehensive, sustainable retail and leisure destination previously lacking in the town but will also ultimately reverse leakage and reposition Rochdale in the retail hierarchy.”
The scheme has been designed by TP Bennett Architects and will link the historical prime retail areas (Yorkshire Street, the Wheatsheaf Centre and The Exchange Shopping Centre) with new public realm.
Genr8’s retained agent Cheetham & Mortimer is in dialogue with a number of additional occupiers and further announcements are expected shortly.
Mike Smith, partner at Genr8 Developments commented: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the town and represents a major step forward. The scheme will be very much mixed use in nature – both leisure and retail – and we are now into the stage of detailed design that will result in a planning application in the next few months and a start on site in 2016.
“We are delighted that both M&S and Next are confirming their commitment and we will be making further announcements in the next few weeks. Rochdale is going from strength to strength. Through our partnership with the Council we aim to deliver a retail and leisure environment which will be a magnet for both occupiers and consumers,” he added.