Work starts on £100 million designer outlet village in Grantham
Work has begun on the construction of a £100 million designer outlet village south of Grantham with a groundbreaking ceremony this morning.
The Grantham Designer Outlet Village is being built between Spittlegate Level and the A1 where a new junction is also being built as part of the town's southern relief road.
Representatives of the company behind the retail village, the construction company, landowners and the district council gathered on the site to mark the beginning of work there.
The retail village will be made up of 130 outlets together with a hotel and restaurants.
Giles Membrey, managing director of Rioja Estates, developers behind the retail village, said he was excited and relieved work had started after a delay caused by the pandemic.
Mr Membrey told the Journal: "The first phase of the development will be 90 units, roughly 196,000 square feet, and we will open phase one in summer 2023, and then we will look at starting phase two in 2024 with a view to getting that open by the end of 2025, beginning of 2026."
Mr Membrey said the take-up of units had been good. He said: "We had a slow start last year and I think it was because most of the brands were focussed on their existing portfolios. But this year the take-up has been phenomenal. By the time we open the centre we will be up to 70 to 75 per cent. We have got some great names which I can't mention today. They are top draw, quality names that you will only find in London or some of the bigger cities."
Rioja says the retail village will attract 3.5 million people a year and it is estimated that 350,000 of those will go on to visit Grantham town centre and attractions.
Leader of South Kesteven District Council , Councillor Kelham Cooke, said he was confident that the retail village would bring many people into Grantham town centre.
Coun Cooke said: "I think some of the really positive impacts are potentially 1,500 jobs that are going to be created and also the aspect of 350,000 visitors a year coming to the area. If you compare that to anything else we could do as a council or as a local economy nothing else can compare to bring in that volume of people into our area."
Coun Cooke said local businesses stood to benefit substantially from the retail development. He said: "I know the new owners of the Angel and Royal Hotel and they are finishing their refurbishment plans so the visitors that come here can stay there and in the town. We have also recently had £5.5 million Future High Streets funding, so not only are people going to come here but we can invest in the town centre to then keep people there as well."
Gary Bradley, construction director for Bowmer + Kirkland Limited, said many local people would be involved in the building of the retail village.
Mr Bradley said: "At peak we anticipate on the shell works roughly around 200 people, but our own staff are also all from the Grantham or local area and they are really proud and excited to be involved in this prestigious development. In addition we think this will help local sub-contractors and operators and help with the local economy."