Watson Batty Architects were lead consultants in the redevelopment of the Spalding Festival Gardens site. The extensive gardens at 14 hectares in total were completely re-planned and re-designed as feature gardens along with 4 hectares developed as an individual retail shopping centre and leisure destination.
The shopping centre was designed as single storey units laid out to maintain a street scene to reflect the local area. The initial development contained 42 retail units varying in size between 50 and 500 sq.m. with a combination of A1 and A3 consents. The centre also included a Garden Centre with 2,500 sq.m. of internal space and 2,200 sq.m. external space.
Phase 2 of the redevelopment involved a 2,500 sq.m. extension, forming the South Avenue of the retail area. It consists of 13 new retail units, of between 50 and 500 sq m, along with alterations to the existing units, a new 43-bedroom hotel located on the first and second floors and an external car park.
Increasing competition in the retail sector, from both current and potential retail centres, means there is a need for continuous improvement to Springfields retail offer, with a requirement for a greater and wider range of retailers. The new space made available via the Phase 3 works will enable Springfields Outlet to attract up to 15 new retail brands along with four ancillary restaurants and cafés.
Arguably the East of England’s premier retail and leisure destination, Springfields Outlet has come a long way since opening in 2004, delivering 14 years of consecutive turnover growth. A major tourist attraction for Spalding, it is envisaged that the extension would bring about a further half-a-million annual visitors and around 350 new jobs. Adding to the current annual 2.3 million visitors, existing 650-plus jobs and improvements to links between Springfields and Spalding town centre, the new centre will undoubtedly improve the economic offering for the area.