The Crown Estate confirms purchase of Castle Acres site
The Crown Estate, through the Fosse Partnership, has acquired Castle Acres from Leicestershire based family business, Everards.
With the purchase, the Fosse Partnership is committing £135m to develop the 12.5 acre Castle Acres site, adjacent to its existing Fosse shopping park, to create a new shopping and dining destination.
The new development will create around 288,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, complementing the current Fosse line-up.
Everards of Leicestershire, the family-owned brewer and pub operator founded in 1849, had based its brewery, office and logistics at Castle Acres for over 30 years. Everards is relocating to 2 new sites, Everards Meadows and Optimus Point and will provide vacant possession of Castle Acres before Christmas. Work will commence on site in early 2018.
The planning process for the redevelopment was led by Everards and supported by Next, which will be taking a 90,000 sq ft three-story store in the new scheme. The Castle Acres scheme is already almost 60% pre-let, with other confirmed tenants including Debenhams, TK Maxx and Clarks.
Fosse is one of the UK’s most successful shopping parks, with 436,000 sq ft of retail accommodation attracting 10 million visitors a year. It was acquired by the Fosse Partnership in 2014.
In the last year, the partnership has invested £12.7m in Fosse to enhance the offer and experience for retailers and their customers.
The investment has seen new store frontages and significant improvements to landscaping, public realm and parking. It has also attracted five new brands – Office, Pandora, Primark, Superdrug and JD Sports – to further enhance the impressive retail mix.
The unconditional purchase of Castle Acres follows The Crown Estate’s successful launch of the 230,000 sq ft Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire in July 2017 and the upcoming opening of the 800,000 sq ft Westgate in Oxford, in partnership with Landsec, on 24 October.
Hannah Milne, Director of Regional Retail at The Crown Estate, said: “Fosse is already one of the best retail centres in the country, and the addition of Castle Acres promises to make it that much better. The extension will be a fantastic boost for the local economy and we look forward to working with all our local partners as this new retail hub begins to take shape.”
Richard Everard, Chairman of Everards said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement to sell Castle Acres to The Crown Estate, through the Fosse Partnership. Having already established our new logistics centre at Glenfield, Leicestershire we now look forward to developing Everards Meadows. The build programme, commencing in early 2018 will include a Everards office and brewery, destination food and drink units and a cycling centre. We look forward to all of these developments further strengthening our family business for this and successive generations.”