Fabrication Nottingham Metal fabricator appointed on new Next store in £14m Shopping Park

A new steel canopy manufactured by Essential Projects has been installed above the exterior entrance of a Next retail store in the recently opened Epping Forest Shopping Centre in a night time operation involving a lifting crane.

Located on the outskirts of London, just off the M11, in Loughton, the new 16,000sqm Epping Forest Shopping Centre was opened in September 2017 and is home to major brands such as Aldi, Mothercare, TK Maxx and Next Retail Plc which opened its new store in December 2017.

The £14m Epping Forest Shopping Park is set to bring 200 jobs and inward investment to the district, which will bring a boost to the local economy. Funding for the project was awarded by Epping Forest District Council who nominated McLaughlin & Harvey Construction as the main contractor.

Renowned for installing bespoke metalwork on retail projects across the UK, after being appointed on the £440m Westgate Shopping Centre project in Oxford, Essential Projects was appointed by sub-contractors Hawthorn Shopfitters, on this project to design, manufacture and install a glass canopy above the newly opened Next retail store to display the signage board.

The canopy features two steel support columns located at either side of the store entrance. The store branding is shown on a panel which is affixed to either side of the supporting columns. An oblong shape steel structure is then fitted with a glass panel to the top of the support columns to provide rain protection from visitors entering the store.

All stores on site are situated adjacent to each other and now all feature an identical steel canopy. The decision to opt for a night time installation


was based on the need to lift the structure in one piece. Rather than install the frame and have site engineers working at height to affix the individual panels the canopy and signage display was assembled on the ground and crane used to lift it into place ready for technicians to affix to the building mounted supports.

Commenting on behalf of Essential Projects, Managing Director, Eliot Saxton said: “Essential Projects has a track record of manufacturing bespoke metalwork for commercial retail park projects. On this project there was big emphasis on making sure that the steel we installed matched other existing canopies. I’m happy that we were able to play a small role in the development of the new shopping park.”



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