Plans for £8m upgrade to The Outlet

Plans for £8m upgrade to The Outlet

Plans have been unveiled for an £8m expansion of The Outlet in Banbridge aimed at safeguarding the shopping centre's future.

It is hoped the move will secure 500 jobs and create a further 200 full and part-time posts.The plans would see an eight screen cinema complex, a 7,000 sq ft children's indoor play park, two restaurants and a garden centre added to the Co Down mall.Alastair Coulson from The Lotus Group, which has been appointed to submit the planning application, said it will revitalise The Outlet and reduce the shop vacancy rate."The proposed changes will ensure that The Outlet's offer will be different to any current local offering and will attract visitors into Banbridge from a much wider area," he said."It's expected that the new Omniplex alone will attract over 300,000 visitors annually."The changes will bring The Outlet's offer into line with other successful centres in Great Britain and Ireland, and significantly reduce the current vacancy rate to just 10%."This will markedly improve customers' experience and help The Outlet re-establish its reputation as one of the island's leading retail destinations."The Outlet, located on the main Belfast to Dublin road, was opened in 2007 before the recession and the hike in fuel prices - and was designed to bolster cross-border shopping.With over 80 stores, it is one of the biggest retail parks of its kind in either NI or the Republic - however, it was taken over by Ulster Bank after the developers got into difficulty.Mr Coulson said the regeneration plans - which will see investments of between £6m and £8m - could be completed in early 2015.


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