Milestone month for the £1billion Swansea Transformation

A Milestone Moment in one of Wales' most high profile current regeneration schemes

This week alone we have announced a new name and brand for the £135million cultural district formerly known as ‘Swansea Central’ (now Copr Bay), launched pioneering technology that allows visitors to peer into the future, and virtually celebrated the Topping Out of the 3,500 capacity state-of-the-art arena and conference centre.

Swansea is fast-becoming a world-class destination for human-centred digital innovation, which was the inspiration behind a partnership with Swansea University to create the Lookout – a new public engagement area with interactive visuals showcasing how the city will look as the development unfolds.

Today’s Topping Out of Copr Bay’s Arena has been adapted into a virtual celebration, allowing us to mark the milestone despite social restrictions. See below to view the specially-created video.

Watch the video

Each of these milestones represents @SwanseaCouncil’s undeterred determination in allowing Swansea to realise its potential as one of the most exciting places to live, work, study and visit in the UK.

RivingtonHark is proud to be the Development Manager on a scheme that has become a major catalyst for change in the city-wide transformation.

New World Trading Company to bring The Florist to Chester

RivingtonHark are pleased to announce a major new letting for the Chester Scheme

RivingtonHark, leasing manager of the Chester Northgate development on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council is delighted to announce a major new F&B letting for the scheme. New World Trading Company is to bring its The Florist brand to the scheme in a 8,600sq ft bar/restaurant fronting both Town Hall Square and the new Market Square in the heart of the development.  The Florist joins Picturehouse, Tapas Revolution and Cosy Club to the scheme which is currently under construction and due for completion in the spring of 2022.

David Lewis, Executive Director of RivingtonHark and lead on the Chester project commented “Considering the pandemic, the second lockdown and the impact on the F&B sector it is especially pleasing to have secured such a high profile letting for Chester Northgate.  It is also testimony to the quality of the scheme and Chester that we are still managing to attract such quality operators to this new development.”

Runcorn Shopping City served upto 300+ school meals last week

The Marcus Rashford effect has swept Runcorn and Widnes as residents, businesses and officials rallied to make sure no child goes without food during the half-term

In a week when the England international Marcus Rashford has rallied support in his bid to take on the government in the fight to provide free meals for schoolchildren, Runcorn’s Shopping City answered his call and served up 300+ meals during half term.

Among those stepping in to help were Runcorn Linnets football club in a collaboration with Runcorn Shopping City, the Queen of Hearts pub, Apec Taxis, and a joint effort from All or Nothing.
Halton Borough Council were also quick to commit to continue providing food to children eligible for free school meals.

Runcorn Shopping City Centre Manager Dave Pearman quoted: “Many will be aware of the inspiring work done by Marcus Rashford raising awareness so that children receive free school meals. As a team here at Runcorn Shopping City this inspired us to work with local businesses to see how we could help those in need this half term. Despite challenging times we have been blown away with people’s generosity donating fruit, drinks, snacks and taxi delivery services, not to mention Sayers and Saints and Sinners@prep2go who have prepared fresh sandwiches each morning.

This isn’t about publicity but showing people hope and kindness, this is another example of how people and businesses within the local community come together to help each other out. We hope everyone remains safe and well and we look forward to seeing all our visitors return when they are able to do so.”

We congratulate the Runcorn City team for their efforts in supporting the free school meals campaign.

First Glimpse of Kennet Centre Newbury’s Regeneration Plans

Future of Newbury's Kennet Shopping centre revealed with launch of the ‘Eagle Quarter’ Consultation

Lochailort Newbury Ltd and RivingtonHark have announced a public consultation on the comprehensive regeneration plans that will transform the old, outdated shopping centre into a new, vibrant, mixed‐use, high-quality development.

The scheme is one of the first in the county to be designed specifically to address the changing landscape of the high streets and will breathe new life into the key town centre site, taking inspiration from the town’s heritage.

The proposal is for

  • Around 30 new flexible shops, restaurants and co‐working spaces carefully curated with a focus on independent, local and artisan businesses
  • Around 400 new homes of different kinds from studio flats to three-bedroom homes, including a number purposely‐designed for rent which include ‘class‐leading residents’ amenities’
  • New pedestrianised streets providing new links between town’s railway and bus stations and the shops in Northbrook Street.
  • New public spaces to open up the town centre
  • Enhancements to the existing cinema/food & beverage offering, plus improvements to the existing multi‐storey car park including additional parking spaces and electric vehicle charging points
  • A new highly-sustainable headquarters office building or, alternatively, a retirement living community

The scheme aims to minimise fossil fuels and use a range of renewable energy solutions which will save at least 240 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

RivingtonHark will continue to asset manage the existing centre on behalf of the investor. RivingtonHark said that demand existed from independent and local occupiers who want space in an attractive environment and they would continue to engage with local occupiers as part of the project and Eagle Quarter sought to retain the best elements.

Consultation launches on Thursday, October 29 at and with an exhibition opening the same day in the Kennet Centre.

Following  public feedback a formal planning application will be submitted  to West Berkshire Council before the end of the year.

5 Nominations between St Johns and Mill Gate for Sceptre Awards

RivingtonHark are pleased to announce that St John's, Liverpool and Mill Gate Bury are leading contenders for the 2020 Sceptre Awards

The teams at St John’s and Mill Gate are to be congratulated on securing nominations in 5 separate categories in the 2020 Sceptre Awards. The Sceptre Awards recognise the shopping centre management teams that deliver real excellence across a number of areas with St John’s and Mill Gate being nominated across the following categories:

  • Medium Centre Manager of The Year (St John’s and Mill Gate)
  • Retail Liaison (St John’s and Mill Gate)
  • Operations Manager of the Year (St John’s)
  • Waste Management (St John’s)
  • Commercialisation Innovation (St John’s)

We have outstanding teams at St John’s and Mill Gate led by Neil Ashcroft and Kirsty Williams respectively and these nominations are testament to the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated in delivering excellence at their centres during extremely challenging times.

St John’s won the Revo ACE Community Shopping Centre of the Year Award last month and these nominations are further evidence of its continued success in delivering the highest level of service and customer experience.

We wish both teams well in the final judging!

Mark Williams, Director of RivingtonHark, interviewed on Radio 4

Director of RivingtonHark, Mark Williams, expressed the importance on Radio 4 last week of service charge and rent to be paid in order to rejuvenate our towns and cities.

The Today Programme interviewed RivingtonHark’s Mark Williams on 11th Sept at 6.15am about the need for the Government to allow landlord and tenants contract to resume. COVID-19 has impacted everyone, but stopping rent and service charge to flow to pension funds and other investors, prevents them from investing in the evolution and regeneration everyone has been crying out for. No one wants empty space, and owners have worked tirelessly to help occupiers in distress through this period. The moratorium on rent collection was brought in to help independent traders on top of the rates relief and furlough provided to them when they were not allowed to trade. That help has been abused by some well resourced traders who have been open throughout the pandemic and by others who’s trade has recovered. We have already seen a once mighty FTSE100 company go bust as a result, and the danger is a continuation of the moratorium will increase the likelihood of centres closing and jobs lost, not the reverse.

Mark’s interview was broadcast on 11th September at 6:15am can be seen in full here:

New letting to airsoft action sports Zed Adventures at the Kennet Centre Newbury

RivingtonHark are pleased to welcome ZED Adventures into the Kennet Centre as their latest indoor Airsoft Arena.

The owners of Kennet centre are pleased to announce that the former Debenhams unit (13/17 Mall) in the Kennet Shopping Centre has been leased to ZED Adventures as their latest indoor Airsoft Arena.

Ben Swift, MD of ZED Adventures has said ‘’We are very excited to be part of the Kennet Shopping Centre, to be able to offer our Customers an indoor arena once more and welcome new Customers to this unique leisure experience for the first time in Newbury. ZED Adventures are the company that brought you ‘The Mall’ CQB (Close Quarter Battle) in Gerrard Street in Reading Town Centre for many years before the area was developed. We plan to have this new arena open at the end of September’’.

Mark Williams, Director of RivingtonHark, Asset Managers for the Centre has stated ‘’This is another exciting leisure offering that the Centre is pleased to bring its customers as we move forward with a plan to enhance the customer experience within the Centre and Newbury by providing something different. We welcome ZED Adventures and look forward to working with them and other independent Operators looking to come into the Centre’’

St John’s, Liverpool scoops 2 awards at this year’s Revo ACE Awards

RivingtonHark are pleased to announce that St John’s, Liverpool has won the Revo ACE Community Centre award and the Service Excellence Award for 2020

Congratulations to all the staff at St John’s for their well-deserved success in winning two prestigious awards against some stiff opposition.  The enhanced service levels are readily apparent and Neil Ashcroft and his team can be justifiably proud of their achievements.

Steel Framework for Swansea's New Arena and Conference Centre Completes

RivingtonHark are delighted to announce that construction of the steel framework for Swansea’s new multi-functional, 3,500 capacity live-performance arena and conference centre has now completed.

Both J & D Pierce (Contracts) Ltd and our on-site partners Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd implemented new measures that ensured the safety of their workers, allowing works to continue on-site for the development of Phase One of the Swansea Central scheme.

Upon full completion, the arena will be operated by The Ambassador Group Limited, global leaders in live theatre, hosting up to 160 performances a year across comedy, theatre, live music and gaming, and is forecast to attract over 230,000 visitors per year, providing a catalyst to Swansea City Centre’s transformation into an appealing leisure destination for both local residents and visitors.

Axe Throwing, Crazier Golf, Electric Darts, Shuffleboard, Beer Pong!

Boom Battle Bar Opens in Castle Quarter Norwich

The much awaited launch of this adventure bar at Castle Quarter, features a fantastic range of activities. Combined with the repositioning of Castle Quarter that has already taken place, Castle Quarter Norwich, has firmly established itself as the main leisure destination of the city. A blueprint for how centres across the UK can adapt to meet the evolving needs of their customers.

The BBB team have worked tirelessly through unprecedented conditions and RivingtonHark would like to congratulate them on such a great concept and welcome them to the centre.

David Henderson Williams, Director of RivingtonHark commented:  “We are delighted that Boom Battle Bar has chosen to launch their new concept at Castle Quarter.  The fitout is stunning and we wish them every success.”