UK’s first out-of-town centre set for refurb and extension
Hempstead Valley shopping centre in Kent is set for an ambitious overhaul with a significant investment in the redevelopment and repurposing of the centre.
The scheme already functions more like a town centre with free parking than an out of town shopping centre and the intention is to build on this by bringing in community uses, medical services, a gym operator, a drive thru restaurant and potentially a cinema, as well as new large space retailers.
Hempstead Valley opened 40 years ago as the first out of town shopping centre in the UK and is anchored by Sainsbury’s, M&S and TK Maxx. A successful restaurant cluster opened in 2016. Owner British Airways Pension Fund took full control of the centre in 2018 and has appointed development experts Reef Group to help deliver the substantial plans for the centre alongside GCW and Savills as leasing advisors.
The wide-ranging plans include new development initiatives and reconfiguration of parts of the scheme. It has planning consent for an extra 40,000 sq ft of external retail space which will accommodate larger format stores and encourage linked trips.
The 2,000-plus car parking spaces will be maintained with the addition of a decked car park.
GCW director Duncan Kite said: “We are talking to potential tenants on 60,000 sq ft of space both for the external large boxes and reconfigured space inside the malls. We are confident that these plans will deliver exciting change and a long-term sustainable future for the centre.”