Asda has commenced its £8 million transformation of the former Co-op foodstore in the Wythenshawe, South Manchester, shopping centre owned by St Modwen, into a 60,000 sq ft (5,574 sq m) state-of-the-art superstore.
The extensive refurbishment work is to include improvements to the main pedestrian link, Swan Walk, between the surface car park and the heart of the shopping centre upgrading the multi-storey car park and the creation of a new unit for Co-op Travel whose existing unit will become part of the new Asda.
The new store, due to open this summer, will include the full range of Asda goods and services and incorporating the popular George range of clothes.
Staff from the existing Co-op store which closed in January have transferred to Asda, The Post Office currently located in the former Co-op store is being relocated into a new unit created by St Modwen in Swan Walk. Asda will be taking on an additional 150 staff to work in the new store.
An improved foodstore was one of the targets set out in the Wythenshawe Town Centre masterplan which was approved by Manchester City Council’s executive last July. St Modwen and the city council are looking at ways to further expand the size of the new Asda store.
Paul Batho of St Modwen, said: “Asda’s investment underlines St Modwen’s continued confidence in the regeneration of Wythenshawe and its latent potential to become a major retaling centre within Greater Manchester. The store opening this summer will add a top drawer food operator to the centre and will launch the next stage of Wythenshaw’s continuing regeneration.
“We are currently finalising details with the city council for two additional new retail developments in the centre which will introduce a further 100,000 sq ft (9,290 sq m) of accommodation which will be targeted towards national retailers. We anticipate that planning applications will be submitted shortly for these schemes.”
Coun. Glynn Evans, chairman of Wythenshawe Area Committee, said: “This is a welcome and important step towards a thriving Wythenshawe town centre. It shows the confidence which investors are showing in the area. With more new stores in the pipeline, we are starting to deliver on our masterplan to make Wythenshawe a strong shopping destination. We look forward to further investment and improvements.”
Tom McGarry, Asda’s property communications manager, said: “We are very excited about opening the new store in Wythenshawe, providing jobs for local people and helping to regenerate the town centre.”
Notes to Editor:
Wythenshawe Town Centre masterplan approved by Manchester City Council’s executive last July 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.
Other proposals in the first phase of the second stage, which runs until 2009, include the creation of a new bus station with better links to the shopping centre, improved shopping and the creation of a new leisure facility between Wythenshawe Forum and the shopping centre.
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. The first stage was the relocation of the market, the upgrading of the malls, new retail space built in Haletop under or fronting the multi-storey car park and a general refurbishment programme improving the entire 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.
For further information contact Paul Batho of St Modwen (01925 825950). Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121 236 7771).