Top stores plan moves in Burnley town centre redevelopment

FUTURE: How the new Charter Walk Shopping Centre will look (S)
FUTURE: How the new Charter Walk Shopping Centre will look (S)

A RAFT of major high street chains have pledged their future to Burnley as the planned multi-million pound redevelopment of Charter Walk Shopping Centre begins to take shape.

Owners Addington Capital announced that major fashion retailers NEXT and River Island will soon boast larger more impressive premises in Burnley town centre, while a host of other stores have signed new long-term leases.

River Island has agreed a new 10 year lease which will see it double in size as part of the Market Square Redevelopment proposals.

And rival NEXT is to move from its current location in the shopping centre to a much larger 20,000 sq ft. home in the former T.J. Hughes building at the beginning of December.

The River Island store will extend into the W.H. Smith store currently next door creating an 11,300 sq ft. shop and a new facade.

Smiths, meanwhile, has agreed to relocate to the former Bon Marche store on a 10year lease starting early next year.

Patrick Keenan, from letting agents Lunson Mitchenall said: “The recent signings demonstrate the renewed and growing confidence retailers have in Charter Walk and Burnley. The signings of River Island and NEXT demonstrates the positive direction Charter Walk is moving towards, with retailers keen to be part of this.”

Advanced discussions are also taking place with further national retailers for the remaining two retail units formed by the planned redevelopment, which will be announced shortly.

Entertainment Exchange retailer CEX Ltd has agreed a 10 year lease at 41 St James’s Street while Textiles Direct has relocated to the former Currys unit in Market Square.

Other retailers demonstrating their commitment to Burnley include fashion retailer Monsoon, which has signed a five year lease renewal on its Mall store, as has Game in St James’s Street.

Coun. Julie Cooper, leader of Burnley Borough Council, said: “This is really excellent news and will strengthen our shopping offer. We are working hard to increase footfall in the town centre in these difficult trading conditions and the best way to do that is to get more and better shops.”