New Strand Shopping Centre

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Coordinates: 53°27′07″N 2°59′35″W / 53.452°N 2.993°W / 53.452; -2.993

New Strand Shopping Centre
BootleStrandLogo.png
Location Bootle, Merseyside, England
Opening date 4 October 1968[1]
Management Bob Greenhalgh - Centre Manager
Owner Sefton Council
No. of stores and services 130
No. of anchor tenants 5
Total retail floor area 407,000 square feet (38,000 m2)[2]
No. of floors 2
Parking 500+
Website The Strand Website

The New Strand Shopping Centre, known locally simply as The Strand, is the main shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, England. Opened in 1968, it was part of a larger Bootle redevelopment during this period, which was also complemented by the establishment of the Girobank headquarters in nearby Netherton.[3]

The centre was extended between 1997 and 1998 and completed in November the same year to provide additional retail outlets, as well as additional car-parking facilities and improved transportation to the centre. The shopping centre has won a Home Office award for its efforts in tackling crime, with just a handful of other towns and cities in the North West of England gaining the honour.[4]

The Strand centre is also widely known for the 1993 abduction of toddler James Bulger, who was later found murdered on a nearby railway line. Police examined CCTV footage recorded in the centre and later discovered that two ten year old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, were responsible for his abduction and murder.

James Bulger being abducted by Thompson (above Bulger) and Venables (holding Bulger's hand) in an image recorded on shopping centre CCTV

In October 2014, it was announced that London-based Ellandi had purchased the shopping centre, yet was sold to Sefton Council just 2 and a half years later.

History[edit]

The Strand opened on 4 October 1968 by Mayor of Bootle, Alderman Oliver Ellis[1] as part of a larger Bootle redevelopment during this period, having previously been streets of housing.[5] The Strand saw its first major redevelopment and expansion in 1997-1998, conceived in response to the shortage of larger sized units in Bootle.[6] The redevelopment project consisted of a 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2)[6] expansion to the existing shopping centre mall, providing new floor space to a host of new retailers, whilst also providing a direct link into a new bus station and transport interchange for Merseyrail, all being completed in November 1998.[7] Additional parking facilities were provided in the form of a new multi storey carpark which complements the existing multi story carpark adjacent.

The centre was purchased by London-based Ellandi in 2014, who announced plans to update the signage, improve accessibility and bring in new retailers.[8] Under their ownership, the return of anchor tenant TJ Hughes was announced, as well as a vacancy rate decrease to less than 10%, with a footfall increase of 14% each year.[9] Ellandi sold the shopping centre in 2017 to Sefton Council for £32.5m,[10] who cited the desire to protect local jobs and assist towards a wider region regeneration, as well as to generate a stable income for the council. An estimated 118,000 shoppers visit the centre weekly.[11] Despite the sale, Ellandi will continue to manage the shopping centre, whilst working alongside Sefton Council to deliver their regeneration strategy.[9]

Stores[edit]

Stores in the shopping centre include TJ Hughes, New Look, Iceland, B&M, Wilko and JD Sports.[12] TJ Hughes is the centre's largest tenant since returning with bigger premises in October 2015, having previously closed in 2011.[13]

Transport links[edit]

Bootle Bus Station, with the Strand Shopping Centre car park behind

It is served by the Bootle New Strand railway station running on the Northern Line, with trains running to Southport and Liverpool city centre. Bus links to the Strand became much improved following the extension which took place during 1999, which included a new bus terminal amongst other extensions to the main building.

Criticism[edit]

The shopping centre has been criticised for their health and safety procedures, when a disabled woman struggled to evacuate the building when a chip shop caught fire on 27 October 2008. The woman was trapped inside the TJ Hughes department store as smoke filled the building, and claims she told a store assistant, "don't forget us, will you?" and asked for a Health and Safety officer, but never received the required assistance.[14] Around 1,000 shoppers were evacuated as three fire crews were called to Costara's Fish Bar just after 2 pm and took over three hours to extinguish the blaze.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "50 years since the birth of Bootle Strand Shopping Centre". Liverpool Echo. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Galway Independent - Liverpool Hotspot Galway Independent, 13 February 2007
  3. ^ Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council — Main Office
  4. ^ Strand Scoops Crime-Busting Award
  5. ^ "Side by Side Map Viewer, 1990s - present day". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Land Securities - Retail - Bootle, Strand Shopping Centre". Property Mall. 9 January 1998. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  7. ^ Land Securities - March 1999 report (pg12) LandSecurities.com, 31 March 1999
  8. ^ "Bootle Strand Shopping Centre changes hands". Liverpool Echo. 21 October 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Sefton Borough Council has completed its purchase of The Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle". Propery Magazine International. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Someone let the cat out of the bag about what Sefton Council paid for Bootle Strand". Liverpool Echo. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "Sefton Council buys Bootle Strand shopping centre". Liverpool Echo. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Barker Proudlove, http://www.barkerproudlove.co.uk/news/barker-proudlove-appointed-on-strand-shopping-centre-bootle
  13. ^ "TJ Hughes store to open in Bootle this week". Liverpool Echo. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Woman trapped as smoke filled Strand Centre". Bootle Times. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008. 

External links[edit]