Blackpool Council and the centre’s management company, Ellandi, have announced the letting of the former Debenhams store to Frasers Group.
Frasers Group is set to refurbish the space over the coming months before opening a Frasers department store. In addition, the site will see Frasers Group open a Sports Direct and a Flannels in the centre.
James France, head of property at Frasers Group, said: “The confirmation of Frasers Blackpool marks an exciting time for the Group as we continue to expand our store portfolio across the UK and Europe. The store will bring an aspirational lifestyle proposition to the town as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to physical retail and opening leading shopping destinations in key regional markets outside of major cities.”
Ram Rasiah, senior director, Retail at CBRE said: “The commitment to physical retail from a brand as strong as Frasers Group cements its importance to the future success of the sector. We are hugely proud to be part of their journey in delivering world class retail offerings to key cities across the UK and Europe.”
Following its acquisition of the shopping centre in 2019, Blackpool Council has been committed to maximising its impact as a catalyst for town centre regeneration and as a key part of its strategy to aid the town’s post-pandemic recovery.
Construction of a second phase including an IMAX and multi-screen cinema, restaurant and new Wilko store, is already underway and is due to open next year. When completed, the extension is expected to create more than 100 new jobs and attract an additional 1.2m residents and visitors to the shopping centre each year.
Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said the Frasers deal was “an enormously significant moment” for the town centre. “After the closure of Debenhams in 2021, we were determined to find the right sort of replacement anchor tenant – one that would have a hugely positive impact on Houndshill and match our ambitions for the rejuvenation of the wider town centre.
“Our patience and perseverance have paid off. Frasers group has compelling national brands that will form a vital new anchor and cement our place as a regional shopping destination
Blackpool Council has also announced the acquisition of the building occupied by Marks & Spencer, which has entrances on both Church Street and Victoria Street, just a few yards away from the Houndshill. The Council said that this was a “strategic acquisition” given the prime location of the building and its importance in the ongoing revitalisation of the town centre, with M&S continuing to trade from the store.