Westfield’s long-awaited Bradford development has taken a step closer to its creation, with retailers Marks & Spencer and Next signing up for a store apiece.
The development first received planning permission nearly a decade ago, before Westfield’s involvement in the project, however it has been beset with problems including previous anchor tenants BHS pulling out.
Last October, Westfield received planning permission for a revised scheme that will cost £275m, creating a centre called Broadway. Westfield came on board the project in 2004.
Today’s agreement sees the initiative take a step closer to the realisation of the 550,000 sq ft retail and food site, which when complete is expected to become the home of more than 70 shops and restaurants.
Marks & Spencer has taken a 63,000 sq ft anchor store, while Next will take a 32,000 sq ft unit, making it the largest outlet in the city. They will sit alongside fellow anchor tenant Debenhams, which signed up years ago.
“Since gaining the planning consent from Bradford Council, Westfield has been working closely with Marks & Spencer over many months to confirm store details and finalise the agreement,” said Westfield’s director of development Duncan Bower.
“We are confident that the successful signing of two strong anchor tenants, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, along with leading retailer Next, will be a catalyst to attracting further retailers to those already under negotiation.”
Councillor David Green, leader of Bradford Council, described it as a “significant milestone for the project proving that Westfield, during these tough economic times, has remained committed to Bradford and has continued to progress the scheme”.
Westfield is continuing its negotiations to secure the necessary remaining pre-lets required before construction can recommence.
“There is already strong interest from a number of retailers in the scheme and this announcement will be very positively received by the market,” said Bower.