Telford Shopping Centre
This article needs to be updated.March 2018)(
|Developer||Telford Development Corporation|
|Owner||Sovereign Land & Orion|
|No. of stores and services||Over 160|
|No. of anchor tenants||4(Debenhams, House of Fraser, M&S, Primark)|
|Total retail floor area||100,000 m² |
|No. of floors||1|
Telford Shopping Centre is a 25-acre (100,000 m2) indoor 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. The trustees of the shopping centre are registered offshore for tax purposes. It is the largest shopping area in the ceremonial county of Shropshire, being located roughly equidistant between Shrewsbury and the West Midlands conurbation. With a floor area of 100,000 m², the centre is one of the twenty five 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. 2019 was the completion of the £55 million redevelopment of the centre which included new stores and moving existing stores into bigger premises. A rebrand from the Telford Shopping Centre to the Telford Centre was also included.
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.
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.
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 often plays host to small exhibitions, mini-markets, Santa's Grotto, a children's plastic "ice rink" and a variety of other events.
In 2006, the centre won the five-star 'Loo of the Year' award, due to the cleanliness and access to its toilet facilities.
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 that store. The number of parking bays increased to approximately 6,000 spaces, and new bus stops were 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 anchor stores would stay open until 8pm, as opposed to 6pm. The supermarket Asda also extended opening times until 10pm.
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.
In 2013 a £200 million expansion plan for the shopping centre was announced, which included enhanced pedestrian access to the Centre with improved links to surrounding areas. 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.
Contrary to popular belief, the Southwater area of Telford town centre, completed in 2014, was a project led and funded by Telford and Wrekin Council, and not the owners of the shopping centre. The official opening ceremony on 18 October 2014 included live music and fireworks. The area compromises of a refurbished library, various chain restaurants, Cineworld IMAX Cinema, bowling alley/arcade and a new multi-story car park.
As part of a £55 million redevelopment; the centre saw a redevelopment of the Fashion Quarter and touch ups done to existing parts such as new lighting and signage. Part of the redevelopment was moving the existing Next store within the centre, to a new 30,000sq ft store which opened on 14 September 2019. Later on in the month, New Look opened its 16,000sq ft store on the 26th of September.
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.
As of October 2019 the centre's anchor stores are as followed;
|Operated by||Telford and Wrekin Borough Council|
|Bus routes||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5A, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 14A, 15, 16, 18, 19, X4, X5, 891|
|Bus operators||Arriva Midlands|
|Opened||1973, Rebuilt 2017|
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 large car parks, providing approximately 4,000 parking spaces. It is estimated that almost 90% of shoppers to the centre arrive by car.
- Shopping Centre News. "Telford – Coming of Age". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 11 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.
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- Growcott, Mat. "New Aldi store in Telford to create 30 jobs". www.shropshirestar.com. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
- O'Brien, Lisa. "New Next store opening next week at Telford Centre Fashion Quarter". www.shropshirestar.com. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
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- Telford Shopping Centre. "Car Parking". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2008.