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By Dan Santy Friday 09 November 2012 Updated: 09/11 16:03
DEBENHAMS will anchor the big money revamp of Elliott’s Field retail park, it has been announced.
It comes after the Observer first reported on plans by property company Hammerson to spend £18million extending the retail park, north of the town centre, to create space for 15 new stores and refurbish existing units.
The move marks a coup for retail in Rugby, with the huge 60,000 sq ft department store to sell cosmetics, womenswear, menswear and homeware, along with a café and restaurant.
Rugby Borough Council leader, Craig Humphrey, said: "For too long residents of Rugby have had to travel elsewhere to shop in the likes of Debenhams, but now it’ll be on their doorsteps.
"Rugby is the fastest growing town in the West Midlands and I’m delighted we’ll have the sort of quality retailing the town deserves."
Debenhams is the first company pre-let for the redevelopment of Elliott's Field. It is expected to create around 120 full and part-time retail jobs for the area.
Property company Hammerson bought Elliott's Field in March last year and from there began drawing up plans to revamp the site.
Coun Humphrey said: "Elliott’s Field is our most established edge of town shopping location and there are no planning restrictions on the types of goods that can be sold there.
"The retail park was in need of investment and it was good news when Hammerson bought the site last year and committed to redeveloping it.
"It’s even better news now Debenhams have been confirmed as the first pre-let."
Consultation on the emerging designs for the park will take place this winter.
Development manager for Hammerson, Tom Cochrane, said: "Attracting one of the UK’s most successful department stores demonstrates confidence in both our vision for retail in the town and the consumer catchment.
"Having a full-line Debenhams in Rugby will retain retail spend within Rugby and reduce the spending leakage to other regional destinations.”
Gareth Dougherty of Debenhams said: "We are pleased to have secured a store at Elliott’s Field retail park as we have had a long standing requirement for Rugby for a number of years."
"Elliott’s Field, with its accessibility and road network links allows us to penetrate the wider Warwickshire catchment.
"We have worked closely with Hammerson to deliver what we both believe will be the evolution of a shopping park into a fully-fledged retail destination."
A planning application for the redevelopment is expected to be entered next year.
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