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Asda opening spearheads Wythenshawe regeneration

St Modwen Properties plc, the UK¹s leading regeneration specialist, has launched the latest phase of its £100 million regeneration of Wythenshawe Town centre, with the opening of a new Asda food store.

The £20m store was opened by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Glynn Evans and is the centrepiece of a major redevelopment/refurbishment of the town centre planned by Manchester City Council and St Modwen.

Development in this phase to date has included a brand new post office in the restyled Swan Walk arcade; the upgrading of four levels of the multi-storey car park and the installation of two new lifts. A new Co-op travel shop is to open very shortly.

Progress on further elements is gathering pace. A planning application has been submitted for a site created by St Modwen at the opposite end of the Birtles Mall where redundant flats were recently demolished. Etrop Court will provide over 40,000 sq ft of new retail space, and two national retailers, not currently in the centre, are already in discussions to take units .

At Haletop East, on Rowlandsway, St Modwen has submitted a further application for retail, leisure and office development totalling some 15,000 sq ft. Discussions are under way with several potential occupiers.

Consideration is also being given to the lay out and siting of the market.

Partly this arises from the proposed Etrop Court development, but it also reflects the perceived success of the temporary relocation of the market into the Birtles Mall during the recent demolition.

In addition, St Modwen remains committed to the enlargement of the Asda store so it can provide an even better anchor to the centre and is actively pursuing acquisitions to bring that about.

Michelle Taylor, St Modwen¹s northern regional director, said: “We are delighted at the opening of the new Asda. It is a real watershed in the town’s regeneration and provides the platform for further improvements.

Other retailers are already recognising Asda¹s commitment to Wythenshawe and are now keen to gain representation in the town.”

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Glynn Evans said: ²This new store will be a significant boost to the town centre. I¹m particularly pleased that it¹s creating new jobs for local people.³

Mark McBurnie, store manager at Asda said, “The opening at Wythenshawe has been a great success. The large number of shoppers on the first day shows the relationship we have built with the community, and we are looking forward to welcoming many more customers, old and new.”

Notes to the Editor.

The Wythenshawe Town Centre masterplan approved by Manchester City Council¹s executive a year ago envisages a total investment in Wythenshawe of up to £130 million over the next ten years. The vast majority of this will come from the private sector.

St Modwen and the City Council have been working closely on the regeneration of the Wythenshawe town centre since 1996 when St Modwen entered into a long term lease/development agreement with the city.

Other proposals in this phase of the development, which runs until 2009, include the creation of a new bus station with better links to the shopping centre and the creation of a new leisure facility between Wythenshawe Forum and the shopping centre.

In the longer term, there are plans for a town centre hotel and modern office space to tap into increased demand created by the growth of nearby Manchester International Airport, and the potential arrival of Metrolink to the town centre.

For further information contact Michelle Taylor of St Modwen (01925 825950). Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121 236 7771).