Speke Unit Trust exchanged contracts with Cineworld for 11-screen cinema, including Superscreen technology at New Mersey Shopping Park, Speke

LIVERPOOL, 2015-10-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Speke Unit Trust, the specialist retail park fund advised by British Land and managed by Schroders, has exchanged contracts with Cineworld for an 11-screen cinema, including state-of-the-art Superscreen technology at New Mersey Shopping Park, Speke.  The letting to Cineworld follows the receipt of planning permission from Liverpool City Council in July 2015 for a new leisure extension and wider upgrade works at the park.  The works are scheduled to commence in early 2016 and are expected to generate between 250 and 300 local jobs.

The 66,000 sq ft extension will house not only a cinema but also six exciting new restaurants. As part of the park-wide upgrade works, new shop frontages will be installed and public areas enhanced to improve the look and feel of the asset. The planned works will also provide a better car park layout and additional parking spaces to improve the occupier and shopper experience.

The approval of the planning application follows extensive pre-application consultation with the Council, the Mayor, shoppers and local residents.

British Land has also recently leased space to Next, Harveys, Currys/PC World and Tessuti at Speke.  Next has signed for a 48,000 sq ft unit on a 15 year lease, with Harveys moving to a 17,500 sq ft unit on a 10 year lease.  Harveys’ existing unit, located amongst the park’s fashion brands, will be let to a retailer that will better complement the existing fashion mix. Currys/PC World recently opened a new 28,000 sq ft unit and Tessuti has recently signed for an 8,000 sq ft store at Speke.

Ben Grose, Head of Retail Assets (North and Scotland), British Land, said: “At British Land placemaking is at the heart of our strategy and we are in the process of enhancing around 95% of our retail portfolio, from minor upgrades to large scale transformations. Evidence of this can be seen across the HUT portfolio where we have recently completed £80 million investment programme, extending the retail and leisure space across four of our assets by almost 300,000 sq ft.

James Varley, Asset Manager, British Land, said: “Planning approval for the leisure extension and upgrade works at New Mersey means we can significantly improve the asset for both our shoppers and retailers, further confirming the park’s position as the retail and leisure destination of choice in South Liverpool. Customer exit surveys conducted at Speke showed demand for a cinema and a better F&B mix and we have responded to this feedback by introducing Cineworld and a range of exciting restaurant brands to the asset.”

Kevin Frost, Cineworld, said: “We have partnered with British Land across a number of their assets and we are delighted to be opening a brand new cinema at Speke with our state-of-the-art Superscreen projection and sound technology.  New Mersey is a fantastic shopping and leisure destination and we are excited to be part of the new leisure extension which will undoubtedly enhance the appeal of the park.”

All square footage data provided includes mezzanine space if applicable.

British Land
Investor Relations
Sally Jones, British Land
020 7467 2942
Media
Pip Wood, British Land
020 7467 2838
Charlotte Whitley, British Land 020 7467 2933
Naomi Galt, FTI Consulting
Gordon Simpson, Finsbury Group
020 3727 1182
020 7251 3801

NOTES TO EDITORS

About British Land
We are one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. We own, manage, develop and finance a portfolio of high quality commercial property, focused on retail locations around the UK and London offices. We have total assets in the UK, owned or managed of £18.9 billion (of which British Land share is £13.6 billion), as valued at 31 March 2015. Our properties are home to over 1,200 different organisations ranging from international brands to local start-ups. Our objective is to deliver long-term and sustainable total returns to our shareholders and we do this by focusing on Places People Prefer. People have a choice where they work, shop and live and we aim to create outstanding places which make a positive difference to people’s everyday lives. Our customer orientation enables us to develop a deep understanding of the people who use our places. We employ a lean team of experts, who have the skills to translate this understanding into creating the right places, and we have an efficient capital structure which is able to effectively finance these places.

UK Retail assets account for 55% of our portfolio. As the UK’s largest listed owner and manager of retail space, our portfolio is well matched to the different ways people shop today. We are focused on being the destination of choice for retailers and their customers by being the best provider of spaces and services. Comprising around 22 million sq ft of retail space across shopping parks, superstores, shopping centres, department stores and leisure assets, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats.

Our Office and Residential portfolio, which accounts for 45% of our portfolio is focused on London.  We have an attractive mix of high quality buildings in well managed environments and a pipeline of development projects which will add significantly to our portfolio. Increasingly, our Offices are in mixed-use environments which include retail and residential elements. Our 6.7 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Regent’s Place and Paddington Central in the West End and Broadgate, the premier city office campus (50% share).

Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to the delivery of our overall objective of driving shareholder value and creating Places People Prefer.

Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com.