In July 2015, the Head of UK Shopping Centres for First Investments Real Estate Management Ltd, Bernard Ferris, announced the arrival of a food hub at The Brunel.
Why a food hub? Research by independent consultants Coverpoint identified a gap in the market for a daytime food offering in Swindon town centre and The Brunel. The 520,000 square foot shopping centre is home to 113 retailers and serves a shopping population catchment of 258,000 affluent, family focused shoppers. With household income being 10% above the UK average, non-grocery spend 13% above the UK average and food spend 9% above the UK average it was seen to be an opportunity to provide this growing market with more choice.
The food hub will be called The Crossing and shall be located between The Plaza and Arcade sides of The Brunel shopping centre on the upper level.
This space is currently shops, all of whom have been offered alternative locations within The Brunel. As the space is vacated the windows of those shops have been covered with pictures promoting the arrival of the hub later this year.
So where are we now? Bernard Ferris said during the launch of The Crossing that three elements had to be in place in order to build the hub. These were; Planning Permission, Funding and Interest from potential occupiers. All of these have been achieved and contractors have been appointed to commence the build.
When will we actually see something happening? You will probably see things progressing sometime after the summer 2016. In association with the water company there needs to be some investigative work done to find out what’s beneath the paving slabs in Canal Walk. This will enable the Architects to determine exactly where the new escalator can be located. Once that is finalised, the contractors can start to work behind the current shop fronts.
It is unlikely you will see anything ‘happening’ for quite a while. You may well hear things happening before you see anything. Please visit The Brunel website for the latest updates on the project. Register for free to receive our monthly newsletter that will cover regular updates on progress.