A shopping centre in Stoke-on-Trent will be “downsized,” according to developers.
Managing director of Realis Estates, Duncan Mathieson said: “We are working with [Stoke-on-Trent city] council on a reduced size scheme which we will update you on and release as soon as we can.”
The announcement follows a report by consultants WYG who said the scale of the proposed scheme must be “comprehensively reviewed” due to the economic downturn and the rise of online shopping. Marks and Spencer, previously seen as the ‘anchor tenant’ of City Sentral, has to stay in Hanley for the next five years but WYG says there is a “real danger” it will abandon the town eventually.
The firm was granted planning permission for a 650,000 sq ft site in Hanley in 2011 but the contract expired in February.
Earlier this month, this publication opened up the discussion on whether shopping centres have a future which attracted comments from leading consultancies, retail architects and marketing firms on Twitter.
Footfall in Stoke-on-Trent has fallen from a peak of 14m in 2010 to 10.9m last year, with the area rated as the 70th biggest retail centre in the country, a drop of 17 places since 2006.
Nine shopping centres were sold in the first quarter of 2014 as overall demand continued to rise, according to property advisor Knight Frank.