// Merry Hill set to be transformed into “leisure district”
// The centre was taken over by shopping centre operator Ellandi last year
// Merry Hill’s previous owner Intu collapsed into administration last year
Merry Hill shopping centre is set to be developed into a new family entertainment “leisure district”.
The centre was taken over by shopping centre operator Ellandi last year after its previous owner Intu collapsed into administration.
A consortium of lenders led by Wells Fargo are investing £50 million to transform the centre into a leisure destination over a period of five years.
Merry Hill has more than 250 retail brands including Primark, Asda, H&M and Marks & Spencer.
A further 22 units are in negotiation or under offer, totalling over 230,000sq ft.
The company said that existing leisure facilities would undergo upgrades and be better connected to the main mall.
The investment will also go towards improving signage and installing solar panels along with more than 200 electric vehicle charging points.
“Despite the pandemic, Merry Hill has seen footfall outperforming city centre locations and other super-regional shopping centres, but we can’t rest on our laurels,” Ellandi co-founder, Mark Robinson said.
“Our plans will ensure that by 2025 Merry Hill will be the West Midlands’ most vibrant family lifestyle destination, embedded at the heart of the local community.
“In addition to being able to access a range of both big-name brands and smaller independent business, customers today demand significantly more from shopping centres than they did in years past.
“This investment will not only enhance and complement Merry Hill’s existing retail offering, but also the range of leisure-led, non-retail and food and beverage attractions – delivering a high-quality environment in which shoppers can also spend their days socialising, relaxing and having fun.”