Head of UK Retail Asset Management and Development for British Land.
With the Duchy of Lancaster's exciting proposals for the Castle also likely to come forward within a similar timescale, the city can look forward to offering visitors a fascinating heritage experience and cultural attractions, combined with quality shopping and good places to eat, drink and relax.
There has been no major retail investment in Lancaster’s city centre for nearly two decades and the shopping provision has been in decline since the turn of the millennium. As a result, more and more local people have taken to travelling to Preston, Manchester, Blackpool and even Carlisle to buy the things they want.
New investment in the city centre will increase the quality, variety and choice for shoppers and enhance their shopping experience. Such regeneration will also help to reverse the existing and environmentally unsustainable tendency to travel elsewhere to shop.
The retail environment in the UK has changed substantially in the last five years. Successful retail environments are now about creating places with a unique identity and character, based on great architecture and high-quality public spaces. This is what we want to achieve in Lancaster and we are really excited about working with the local community to create this type of environment.
The results of the planning inquiry for the previous scheme established a number of key principles, including the proven need for the expansion of city centre shopping and that the Canal Corridor North site is the right site for such development.
Uniquely, the site has the benefit of two theatres, attractive listed buildings and the canal – all of which add to the potential for creating a development that will truly complement the existing city centre.