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27 ANNIVERSARY Twenty years on White Rose, Leeds

Built on an old sewage works site in 87 weeks, the scheme was developed by Land Securities in partnership with Evans of Leeds and Yorkshire Water Estates.


he 650,000-sq ft regional shopping centre was described by Shopping Centre

as ‘excellent’ after it’s opening on March 25 1997, with lasting impressions described as ‘large without being overawing, a choice and variety of quality tenants without having to train for the marathon to get round them all’ and ‘attractive, no frills design’. The scheme included two

giant anchors – an 85,000-sq ft Savacentre and a Store 2000 Debenhams – 10 major units and 72 other stores, ‘plus a raft of pleasant barrows’. It opened fully let with all but

two units trading. Many retailers opened new concept stores including C&A which launched its new approach in a 36,969-sq ft two-level unit with new display equipment, new staff uniforms, cartoons in the children’s section and cable MTV for teenagers. Dolcis based its fit-out on a Parisian bistro and there were wider

aisles and a talking tree in MotherCare. There was a permanent police unit based on site and customer

service was ‘all-important’ with a car-rescue offering run by the AA in the 4,800-space car park. Now retailers include Argos, Bhs, Body Shop, Boots, Disney Store,

M&S, Next, Primark, Sainsbury’s and Zara. A few years ago work on the south end of the mall was

redeveloped. Sainsbury’s downsized and the space was used to construct a new mall, creating space for tenants, River Island, Zara and Next. And Clinton’s Cards downsized too with the remaining space revamped, lifting the ceiling to create a two-floor unit for H&M.

“We’re committed to working

with our retailers,” said retail liaison manager, Dean Stratton. “Every Monday we go to the retailers and provide them with information and statistics. On an informal basis, we’re keen to encourage, foster and build positive relationships with our retailers. “The industry has taken some time to come around but it’s important to get ahead of the game and build a genuine mutually positive relationship.” Centre management has

worked hard to control the service charge offering retailers good value for money, helping to keep

scores in retailer satisfaction consistently high. And according to centre director, Peter Cook, staff at the White

Rose are mindful to reduce their impact on the environment. “Dean works with retailers to reduce their energy use – many keep lights on all night. In an enclosed shopping centre that’s pointless so we’re working with tenants to cut down on energy use and make savings at the same time.” The centre also has a disability sub-committee which holds

quarterly meetings and advises centre management on ways to improve accessibility. Footfall has gone up consistently year-on-year since opening and now stands at 13m per annum.

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January 1999

February 1999

March 1999

March 1999

on the banks of the River Witham, Lincoln, opened

St Mark’s shopping centre

The final phase of

£50m Kingsgate shopping centre started in February 1999

Work on Huddersfield’s

retail and leisure scheme, Bluewater, Kent, opened on March 16

Lend Lease’s 1.5m sq ft

shopping centre in Glasgow opened on March 31 May 2011 SHOPPING CENTRE

The £200m, 600,000 sq ft Buchanan Galleries

20 YEARS Leading the industry for

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