Telford Shopping Centre
From everyday to extra special.
|Closing date||Continues to trade|
|Developer||Telford Development Corporation|
|Owner||Sovereign Land & Orion |
|No. of stores and services||175 active|
|No. of anchor tenants||6 (Debenhams, House of Fraser, M&S, BHS, Asda, Primark)|
|Total retail floor area||100,000 m²
|No. of floors||1|
Telford Shopping Centre is a 25-acre (100,000 m2) indoor super-regional shopping centre in Telford, Shropshire, England. It is located in the geographical and economic centre of the new town, on land which was previously undeveloped. It is the largest shopping area in the ceremonial county of Shropshire, being located roughly equidistant between Shrewsbury, the county town, and the West Midlands conurbation. With a floor area of 100,000 m², the centre is one of the largest in the country, and has an average footfall of 300,000 per week, equating to 15 million per annum. The centre is located on a 50-acre (200,000 m2) site, containing over 175 stores. The Centre's catchment population is over 3 million people. The term Telford Town Centre is often used to refer to the shopping centre alone, but the town centre also encompasses the town park and surrounding areas of central Telford. The centre's logo features The Iron Bridge, of nearby Ironbridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2008 the centre was ranked as 14th best in the country by CACI.
The shopping centre was opened in 1973 and longest standing retailers in the shopping centre are Boots and F. Hinds jewellers. It was expanded in 1981 to include extra shopping areas – this expansion was officially opened by HM The Queen in late October 1981. The phase 1 flagship and largest store during the mid to late seventies was the Carrefour supermarket, now an Asda.
The centre only really came under larger development when it was purchased by the Universities Superannuation Scheme group in 1990. Thenceforth, a refurbishment program was undertaken, including the addition of large roof windows, which admitted more light into the centre. USS also created the Sherwood Square area and added the popular Frog Clock.
By 2001 the centre had 160 stores. By 2006, the centre had approximately 180. This growth can be attributed to the addition of an area known as the 'New Row Mall', which opened in September 2004. This 14,000sqm extension to the west end of the centre added the 7,400sqm anchor store Beatties, which was later taken over by House of Fraser in August 2007. Since Beatties opened on 5 September 2003, car park use has increased on average by between 10 and 12%. Other notable stores were added to New Row Mall at this time, including Zara, Costa Coffee and River Island.
Current anchors of the centre include the new House of Fraser, large Debenhams, recently renovated Marks and Spencer and British Home Stores. Some sources also refer to Asda as an anchor tenant. Other notable stores include Boots, JJB, H&M, New Look and Next.
Sherwood Square in Telford Shopping Centre is host to the "Telford Time Machine", a large animated feature clock spanning most of the width of the square. This square is rarely seen empty, and often plays host to small exhibitions, mini-markets, Santa's Grotto, a children's plastic "ice rink" and a variety of other events.
The Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the West Midlands, developed on an enterprise zone between Dudley and Brierley Hill in the 1980s, was inspired by the Telford Shopping Centre also the similar centre at Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire that was also built in the 1970s.
In 2006, the centre won the five-star 'Loo of the Year' award, due to the cleanliness and access to its toilet facilities and continues to hold this award.
In June 2007 USS sold the shopping centre to Hark Group and Apollo Real Estate (collectively Hark & Apollo) for £442 million.
An extension for the Primark store took place in 2009, which involved an extension equal to three times the previous retail area of the store. The proposed development will increase the retail area of the centre by more than 50 percent, and lead to the creation of a pedestrianised walkway, 'The Round', which would circle the enlarged centre and provide better access to retail facilities. The number of parking bays will increase to approximately 6,000 spaces, and new bus stops will be located around The Round walkway. There were also plans, that have since been shelved to transfer control of the Ice Rink from the local council to a private operator and move it into an extension of the centre. The construction of a new Asda supermarket outside the centre into a new building just outside the circular walkway is under way despite the proposed move of Asda being resisted by Hark & Apollo.
On 11 March 2008 it was announced, as part of Hark & Apollo's plan to revitalise town centre trade, that the 6 anchor stores would stay open until 8pm, as opposed to 6pm. The supermarket has Asda also extended opening times until 10pm. This is stated to be in response to popular demand, and the owners, Hark & Apollo, hope that other stores in the centre will follow suit.
Construction began on the triple-size extension to the Primark store in November 2008, which was finished by summer of 2009.
In 2010, there were further developments from a leisure perspective adjacent to JD Wetherspoon, consisting of a nightclub named 'Crush', a bar, restaurant and a takeaway unit in the Grange Central area of the Shopping Centre.
In October 2012 Sovereign Land joined the partnership following the departure of Hark Group to continue Telford's growth and support further development of the Centre.
In 2013 a £200 million expansion plan for the shopping centre was announced, which will include enhanced pedestrian access to the Centre with improved links to surrounding leisure provision. The proposal was for 1 million sq ft Telford Shopping Centre increase in size by up to 80 per cent, with a net increase of almost 400,000 sq ft of retail and 250,000 sq ft of restaurants, cafés, bars and other eateries as well as a cinema and hotel.
The first phase of this development, named Southwater, was completed in 2014. The official opening ceremony on 18 October 2014 included live music and fireworks. The area compromises of a refurbished library, various chain restraints, Cineworld IMAX Cinema, bowling alley/arcade and a new multi-story car park.
In a typical week, the centre sees around 300,000 visitors, rising to over half a million in the Christmas run-up. The centre is also notably busier at the weekends.
The centre also feasibly draws a significant amount of trade from Shrewsbury, with the centre only being approximately 25 minutes (approx. 15 miles (24 km)) drive up the A5/M54 motorway. Shrewsbury, being a historic town, has much more limited access to its two medium-sized shopping centres (Darwin and Pride Hill), and the car parking charges are much higher than in Telford. Up until car parking charges were introduced in 2004, many residents of Shrewsbury drove to Telford to experience the free parking and wider range of shops, but this bonus has now been retracted, although still one of the cheapest car parks in the UK for those that do charge. There are choices of both Long stay and Short stay car parks surrounding the Shopping Centre, making this an easy and convenient destination from the M54.
Below are just a few of the many stores - as of October 2016 the shopping centre contains:
|Operated by||Telford and Wrekin Borough Council|
|Bus operators||Arriva, Midland, National Express, Wrekin Connect|
The area is best reached from the east via junction 5 of the M54 motorway and from the west via the A5 which leads onto the M54. There is also a railway station ("Telford Central") within walking distance. Regular bus services run to Shrewsbury, Newport, Stafford and Wolverhampton.
Car parking charges were introduced to the car parks surrounding the shopping centre in 2004. The centre has 5 large car parks, providing approximately 4,000 parking spaces. It is estimated that almost 90% of shoppers to the centre arrive by car despite the car park charges a maximum of £5.
- Shopping Centre News. "Telford – Coming of Age". Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- Property Week. "Primark to triple in size at Telford". Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- Shropshire Star (Telford edition), 11 March 2008. Abridged version available here
BBC Shropshire (11 March 2008). "Stores want later opening hours". BBC News. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- "Telford – A Unique New Town" (PDF). Transforming Telford. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
- The main centre is on one level, Debenhams has 3 floors; House of Fraser, JJB, H&M and most of the stores in New Row have 2.
- House of Fraser. "Telford store details". Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- Telford International Centre. "The Local Area". Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- Telford Shopping Centre. "The Round". Retrieved 11 March 2008.[dead link]
- Strutt & Parker. "Commercial Property Search". Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- Property Week. "Telford enters the 1 m sq ft club". Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- Telford Shopping Centre. "Interactive Map of New Row area". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- "2006 Loo of the Year awards". Loo.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2008.
- Shropshire Star, 7 December 2007
- Telford Shopping Centre. "Accessibility and Parking – The Round". Retrieved 15 April 2008.[dead link]
- "Telford's Southwater opening schedule is unveiled". Shropshire Star. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "Southwater Grand Opening". Telford Shopping Centre. 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "Pictures: Telford town centre transformation begins as demolition workers move in". Shropshire Star. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "Work under way on transforming empty Telford Asda store". Shropshire Star. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "Telford – Shrewsbury". Google Maps. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- Shrewsbury & Atcham council. "Retail Capacity Survey". Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- Telford Shopping Centre. "Car Parking". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2008.