New-look Mander Centre a huge boost for city.
Wolverhampton is being transformed by new shopping developments and the Mander Centre is nearing the end of a PS35million redevelopment. Zoe Chamberlain reports LOOKING for somewhere new to go shopping? Wolverhampton is about to be transformed as a result PS90million of planned retail and leisure developments.
The main shopping area the Mander Centre is nearing the end its PS35million redevelopment and plans have been submitted for a new PS55million shopping, cinema and leisure complex nearby.
The Mander Centre has just seen the launch of a giant new Debenhams store - stretching over three-floors which saw more than 2,000 people queuing outside on the opening day.
The huge new store features a deli called Loaf and a Bloom restaurant too.
It joins a 30,000 sqft H&M which is the first H&M in the Midlands to have its own homeware section.
There are nine additional new shops including Footasylum, The Entertainer and JD Sports, which add to the existing offering from of retailers such as Waterstones, The Perfume Shop, New Look, HMV and Clarks.
"Debenhams is the project's first milestone and it will change the dynamics of retailing in Wolverhampton," said Jonathan Ratnage, investment manager for Benson Elliot, which owns the Mander Centre.
"We are in discussion with a number of other well-known retailers and hope to bring further good news in due course."
Work began on the Mander Centre in summer 2016 when the old TJ Hughes store was demolished.
The centre remained open throughout the development with lots of building work being carried out during the night.
It is thought it attracts up to 17 million visitors annually and the store openings have created an extra 150 new jobs.
New restaurants will be coming to the area too, but the details of these have not yet been announced.
The Mander Centre was built in 1968 and then extensively refurbished in 1987 and again during 2003.
Additional work has included a new entrance from the roof level of the centre's car park and new customers lifts too.
"The new-look Mander Centre will be a huge boost to the city's retail offer and is creating jobs for the people of Wolverhampton," said Councillor John Reynold, cabinet member for Wolverhampton City Economy.
"It is an exciting time ahead in terms of regeneration, with PS1billion of investment in city centre projects - part of PS3billion of investment either on site or in the pipeline in Wolverhampton as a whole."
The Westside project in Wolverhampton is set to include a multiplex cinema, 40,000 sq ft of new restaurants, shops, 50,000 sq ft of additional leisure space and a large hotel.
Developer Urban&Civic has submitted an official planning application for the first phase of its development on 6.4 acres of land in the heart of the city.
The complex will be built on land between Penn Road Island and Salop Street, including the current School Street and Peel Street car parks.
Construction is due to start in 2018 and be completed by early 2020.
The new Debenhams store (left) and H&M store at the Mander Centre