Brent Cross shopping centre’s £1.4bn upgrade to rival Westfield

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The owners of Brent Cross in London’s north have revealed plans to double the shopping centre in size as part of an ambitious £1.4bn overhaul.

The mordernisation of the 40-year-old shopping centre would see it be refurbished and expanded to the size of to 1.9 million sq ft, with the aim of regaining its title as London’s leading shopping centre – which Westfield has held since the opening of its Shepherd’s Bush complex in 2008 and Stratford in 2011.

Meanwhile in Croydon in London’s south, Hammerson and Westfield are jointly building a shopping centre which is due to open in 2020.

Brent Cross – which is owned by Hammerson – first opened as the UK’s first big US-style shopping centre in 1976 and its latest upgrade is slated for completion by 2022.

“We take the view that Brent Cross was the number one centre in 1976 and we feel we would like to make it number one again in a new era,” Hammerson developpment director Mike McGuinness said.

The transformation will have 200 shops, up to 50 food outlets, a cinema and a hotel and opening hours are set to be extended to as late as midnight.

While John Lewis and Fenwick will be retained as “anchor” department stores, a new Marks & Spencer will be built. 

The Brent Cross overhaul is part of a wider £4.5 billion urban regeneration project of Cricklewood, which includes around 6700 new homes plus parks, offices, and community facilities.

There are also plans for a pedestrian “green boulevard” that will allow shoppers to walk to and from the new town centre.

The planning application for the Brent Cross upgrade is set to be filed to Barnet council next spring.

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