Puddle Ducks, leading baby and child swimming school, opens a state-of-the-art swimming pool in Barons Quay

Barons Quay opened five years ago and since then the retail sector has been through a time of unprecedented change. Since completion, RivingtonHark on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council have been working to evolve the leasing strategy in response to the dramatic shift in the retail landscape, to create a compelling shopping and leisure destination.

With large units designed for multi-site retailers that had stopped expanding, we had to get creative with the scheme’s usage. We brought in Sticky Paws, a 9,000 sq ft restaurant and adventure play concept from the owners of the nationally acclaimed Cheshire Ice Cream Farm tourist attraction. The first of its kind, offering fuss-free dining experience for parents and a lot of fun for kids. With no need to leave the table, guests can order at their convenience with the tap of a finger from a Digi iPad menu, allowing the kids to play or eat as and when they please.

Other leisure occupiers joined the scheme including Radio Northwich, the town’s own radio station, Geek Retreat, and Bear Coffee, giving Barons Quay a true mixed leisure offering.

This month saw the opening of Puddle Ducks, a 3,500 sq ft swimming pool, and the first ever to be built in a retail unit. This state of the art facility will serve as the brand’s flagship location for swimming lessons and teacher training. The unit also includes office space to house the mid Cheshire Puddle Ducks staff. Kitted out with high-spec and child-friendly facilities, the pool will allow families to enjoy learning to swim in an inclusive and accessible environment.

Although the landscape has changed significantly in the past five years, the consumer’s appetite for experiences has only grown. By adapting, evolving and supporting operators to take chances on new ideas, combined with more traditional retail & leisure operators like H&M, River Island, ASDA and Odeon we have made Barons Quay a great place to shop and spend time.