New plans have been unveiled for the expansion of a Banbridge retail park which will secure 500 existing jobs and create a further 200.
The OUTLET are proposing a change of use for part of the existing centre and a consolidation of their current retail offering.
Investments of between £6-8 million are expected to be ploughed into the complex which is hoping to update their services to include a regional eight screen cinema complex, 7,000 sqft children’s indoor play area, two additional restaurants and in a second phase, a garden centre.
The proposals will bring The OUTLET’s leisure offering into line with similar UK centres which have increased their leisure element to around a third to meet changing customer expectations. A separate planning application for a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant was submitted in December.
The Lotus Group, Banbridge, has been appointed to submit the planning application for the repositioning of the centre. Alastair Coulson, director of asset management, Lotus Group, said: “Our research demonstrates that visitors expect a mix and vibrancy of uses for what is often a family day out. This is something we can offer by consolidating the retail offering and introducing a leisure element to the scheme to create a family friendly destination.
“The OUTLET already has excellent links with Banbridge town centre and we are confident that this change of use will inject a new energy into the project which will secure the jobs of 500 local people and create up to 200 more. We have already seen the success that W5 Lite and new restaurants have brought to the centre, and the new proposals will build upon those successes to help safeguard The OUTLET’s future.”
Paul Anderson from Omniplex Cinemas, which will operate the proposed new cinema, said the company identified a need in the Banbridge area for a regional cinema with parking and food and beverage offerings.
Last month Tesco announced plans to open a Tesco Extra store, also at Outlet Park, before the end of 2014. The new 60,000 sq ft store is anticipated to create 250 jobs.