Work on the £4.2 million expansion of Grimsby’s Freshney Place Shopping Centre is scheduled to begin next month, creating hundreds of jobs for the region.
More than a year of applications, meetings and negotiations followed the announcement of the plans in 2014, but now the work to extend the retail space of the centre by a massive 27,000 sq feet will begin in June. When complete, the work will more than triple the size of the town’s Primark store, from 10,500 sq ft to 34,200 sq ft of retail space across two floors.
“This has been a project long in development, but it was important that every detail was carefully considered and the plan absolutely right before the work could begin,” said Freshney Place Shopping Centre Director Amanda Austin. “It will lead to the creation of 250 jobs during the construction and redevelopment works and more than 120 retail jobs upon completion, and it will ensure that Grimsby remains the number one shopping destination for people across the region.”
The significant expansion will provide shoppers with access to even more of Primark’s range of latest trends in women’s, men’s and children’s fashion along with gifts, health & beauty and homewares.
As the work begins in earnest, the existing Primark store will relocate to its temporary home in a reserved unit opposite House of Fraser. “We knew that Primark would be using this available unit as a stop-gap whilst the considerable works are being carried out,” said Amanda. “These temporary alternate premises have been a part of the plan for some time, but we were unable to make this public knowledge until now.”
The redevelopment will see new retail space being created at the centre from the car park and storage areas, with work scheduled for completion in 2017. New fire escapes will also be installed, along with a new frontage onto Frederick Ward Way. Inside the centre, the existing toilets will be demolished and new modern facilities installed as part of the changes.
“We’re delighted to be able to announce that work on the £180,000 toilet modernisation will also begin shortly, bringing contemporary-designed and energy efficient facilities to the centre,” said Amanda. “We will soon be offering improved, larger facilities and as ever, these will remain free of charge for use by our customers.”
Beginning in just a few weeks, the construction work will be carried out by HCM Projects, part of Yorkshire-based Harris Construction Management.
“We are all so excited that this expansion is about to begin,” said Amanda. “This huge development will help underline and strengthen Grimsby’s shopping credentials, and undoubtedly attract more shoppers not just to Freshney Place, but also the town.
“This past year we have already seen many changes at the centre as part of our ongoing strategic plan for growth,” she said. “From the expansion of Costa Coffee and JD, to the arrival of Lavitta and the opening of GoCruise – the winner of our apprentice retailer competition – it has been an exciting 12 months for us. We have also welcomed All Things Scented, who took a unit after building a successful business from their in-mall kiosk, as well as a mixture of High Street names and independent retailers such as American Candy, Love Aroma, Trespass, Love from Isla’s and Poundland.
“The expansion work is a significant investment in both Freshney Place and the town of Grimsby,” said Amanda. “This latest project marks the start of another exciting chapter in our history, and we’re tremendously excited for what the future holds.”