The Centre (Livingston)
The Centre is the name of a shopping centre in Livingston, Scotland. Formerly known as 'Livingston Regional Centre' before becoming the more widely and recognized formerly Land Securities owned 'Almondvale Shopping Centre'. It is (as of 2017) the 26th largest shopping centre in the UK.
The original centre was built in the 1970s by the now defunct Livingston Development Corporation or LDC and was home to smaller independent retailers such as Virgo a fashion store and Coda music up to the larger well known brand names such as WoolCo (which became the now defunct Woolworths) and FineFare (the equally defunct Gateway). The shopping centre was very dark and gave the appearances of an outside mall except it was roofed.
Through time modernizations were made to make it more appealing to shoppers and more upmarket, bringing in more up to date floor tiling, bright lighting and the centres' branding and logos on the walls.
It was decided that a second phase would be built onto the existing frontage of the centre and would incorporate a purpose built supermarket and feature two twin towers one on the front entrance elevation and the other on the side entrance where the new supermarket would be. Phase two opened in 1995 and had bigger well known names such as Iceland, BHS, Vodafone and Boots to name but a few.
The latest extension to the centre in 2008 sees a whole new concept for the now 30-year-old centre, the new addon which was code named The Elements tied in what would be seen as many different elements to give the illusion and overall feel of being outside but yet still being indoors. To achieve this they built a very high glass roof to cover a very widened pathway which felt like a shopping precinct with grey slate like tiles to finish off the effect.
The Elements opened in 2008 and is home to names such as River Island, Next, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer.
The Centre is made up of 3 zones:-
- Almondvale Walk (the original 1970s phase one of the shopping centre),
- Almondvale Place (phase two which opened in 1995 and featured the two twin towers at each side of the building)
- Elements Square, the Wintergarden and The Avenue (phase three or The Elements which was opened in 2008).
The Centre is beside Livingston Designer Outlet (formerly McArthur Glen Livingston).
The Centre contains three anchor stores - Marks & Spencer, Primark and Debenhams - as well as many other smaller retail units, and the new mall - named Elements Square - has a transparent ETFE roof covering its four shopping avenues. There is also an internal civic space known as the Wintergarden.
Elements Square is a unique development which provides a feeling of being outdoors whilst protecting its occupants from the vagaries of the weather. Its wide-open avenues and high roof bring a totally new feeling to shopping in Livingston.
The Centre is like a small town, divided into five different zones: Elements Square, Wintergarden, The Avenue, Almondvale Walk and Almondvale Place.
The Centre is situated just off Junction 3 of the M8, between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
End Of An Era
In December 2014, The Centre's owners 'Land Securities' sold the shopping centre and associated retail parks to an investment firm 'HSBC Investments' marking the end of a momentous run of 30 plus years for the London-based management firm.