Hermes Investment Management, the £28.6 billion manager focused on delivering superior, sustainable, risk adjusted returns to its clients – responsibly and AustralianSuper, co-owners of centre:mk, have today announced plans for a £60 million investment in the centre.
Over the next three years, the grade two-listed building will undergo a series of enhancements focused on re-imagining the iconic principles that led to the creation of one of the UK’s most dominant UK regional shopping centres. The £60 million investment programme includes the recently completed £10m refurbishment of Sunset Walk, designed by architecture and design company, Rawls. The next phase will see the development of new state of the art customer facilities on Deer Walk, including a customer service lounge, family facilities and WCs, together with work beginning this spring on a new 1,400 space multi–storey car park adjoining John Lewis.
Other initiatives will embrace the latest digital technology with a new centre:mk app, website, social media platform, signage and wayfinding, focused on providing visitors with information and inspiration to help them get the most from their visit.
Kevin Duffy, Centre Director added: “centre:mk plays a significant role regionally as we provide a critical mass and diversity of offer unavailable elsewhere. The investment in the malls, wayfinding, facilities and customer service will collectively allow us to build upon the place making we have created and further improve the space. These plans ensure centre:mk is always relevant for the consumer and retailers and will create a refreshing, exciting and modern look and feel within the iconic destination.”
Ed Sellick, on behalf of centre:mk’s joint owners, Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper, commented: “ Our £60 million programme of investment is designed to enhance the experience for visitors, leading to increased sales for our retailers and restaurants. As the town of Milton Keynes enters its 50th year, at centre:mk, ‘Re-Imagining an Icon’ is seeking to re-equip the UK’s first listed shopping mall for the 21st century. It is about reflecting and paying homage to the building’s iconic status, whilst at the same time reappraising what happens inside and, finally, the role centre:mk plays in Milton Keynes.”
The ‘Re-Imagining an Icon’ strategy builds on the significant enhancements made to centre:mk’s brand line-up over the last 18 months. Jigsaw, Hobbs, Joules, Cath Kidston, Kiehl’s, Molton Brown, The White Company and Pandora have all opened new stores on Sunset Walk, concentrated around House of Fraser, to create a critical mass of premium brands. In addition, Smiggle, T2 and Flying Tiger have all launched successful stores and Ask has recently opened its new restaurant opposite John Lewis.