WORK has started on an exciting £2m redevelopment of Stretford Mall, to create a more vibrant shopping environment and attract more retailers to the area.
An image from inside the site shows demolition works underway to remove a section of the Mall and create a modern new entrance facing Chester Road.
Stretford Mall’s managers say the refurbishment will consolidate the retail space inside the Mall to create a brighter, more modern and attractive atmosphere for shoppers and businesses.
Vacant units are being removed, including the former market hall which has been empty since traders were relocated last year – mainly to larger units inside the main Mall. The m arket hall occupied 49,000 square feet at the 12-acre Stretford Mall site.
The new entrance will provide direct and inclusive access to the main square at the centre of the Mall via a pedestrian walkway from Chester Road.
There will also be a space for community artwork to be displayed along with a living green wall which will act as a screen to surround the service yard.
Award winning local Salford-based contractors Connell Brothers Ltd are carrying out the project which will see more than 100 people work on it over the next five months.
A staggering 95% of materials generated will be re-used or recycled in a bid to minimise any impact on the environment.
Gareth Wilkins, centre manager at Stretford Mall thanked shoppers and tenants for their patience during the works.
He said: “Work is now underway on this exciting £2m redevelopment at the Chester Road end of Stretford Mall.
“This is the early days of the programme and the scope has now widened to include the former O’Brien’s public house.
“We are very pleased to have commissioned a local contractor to carry out the works, and it is great news that the that 95% of the materials generated will be re-used or recycled, to minimise any impact on the environment.”
An artist’s impression reveals how the Mall will look following the redevelopment, expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
It shows a huge glass window which will form the centrepiece of a new entrance looking out onto Chester Road, surrounded by a modern brickwork and metal cladding frontage.
A huge 7-metre high noise-reducing wall has been erected inside the shopping centre to keep shoppers and staff safe during the works.
Stretford Mall’s owners Lunar Stretford SARL are exploring potential opportunities to redevelop the land where the former market hall currently stands, but no decisions have yet been made.
Mr Wilkins said: “Stretford Mall’s owners Lunar Stretford SARL are exploring potential opportunities to redevelop the land where the former market hall currently stands.
“Conversations continue with third parties about the future of the land. We will announce in due course our intentions for the land to be released in the demolition process.”
Mr Wilkins added: “This is a very exciting time for Stretford Mall and for our tenants who have demonstrated confidence in the scheme by renewing their leases and helping to secure local employment.
“It will continue the good work we have made in the last few years to bring in new tenants including Costa Coffee, JD Sports, Aldi, and Pure Gym, as well as a host of independent retailers.
“We were delighted to have been able to relocate the majority of our former market traders who have taken up leases at more prominent units within the centre, including Fleximinder, Kingfisher fish and chips, Reel Around the Fountain records, Sofi’s, Gola Gifts, Hollywood Nails and Trafford Shopmobility.”
The redevelopment is aimed at increasing retailer confidence by allowing void areas to be removed and consolidating retailers into a more vibrant main mall area, said Mr Wilkins.
“This will consolidate the trading area at Stretford Mall by removing excess retail space, creating a more attractive environment for both shoppers and potential future tenants,” he said.
“This is a positive step towards creating a more vibrant retail atmosphere for the town and represents a significant investment in the area by Stretford Mall’s owners Lunar Stretford SARL.
“It will enable us to further explore opportunities more akin to the demands of retailers and the local community.”
To find out more about Stretford Mall visit www.stretfordmall.co.uk of find the shopping centre on Twitter or Facebook.