New retail park in Alnwick is expected to open before Christmas

A new retail park in Alnwick is expected to be open for business before Christmas.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 12:45 pm
Work in progress at the Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.

Marks & Spencer Food Hall, Starbucks and Turnbull’s the butcher are confirmed new tenants at the Willowburn Retail Park.

Site owner and develop Northumberland Estates has also revealed it is in negotiations with several other potential retail tenants including a well-known outdoor clothing brand and a popular footwear retailer, as well as other household names.

Work on the new retail park began in January and Northumberland Estates says the construction phase is progressing well, with pre-Christmas trading expected for new tenants.

A computer generated image of how the new Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick will look.

Anthony Cape, asset manager with Northumberland Estates, said: “We have been delighted with the interest this scheme has attracted from retailers right from the very beginning.

“As a result, upon completion, the new retail park will offer a diverse mix of brand names and independent retailers. This is great news for Alnwick, particularly at a time when many towns are struggling to uphold a strong retail offer.

“Willowburn Retail Park will establish Alnwick as a destination shopping location for the surrounding area and create new employment opportunities for locals and. in general have a positive effect on the local economy.”

Planning permission for the retail park, on the southern outskirts of the town near Duchess’s Community High School, was granted by county councillors in June 2018. It is also situated close to the Sainbury’s, Argos, Homebase and Pets at Home stores.

It will have a total of 37,405 sq.ft. of retail floorspace, plus onsite parking for some 200 vehicles, once full phase development is complete. Units up to 20,000 sq.ft. remain available to let.

However, the retail park has not been without its critics, with Alnwick Chamber of Trade (Act), Alnwick Civic Society and Local Living joining forces last year to oppose the plans.

Turnbull’s has previously revealed that its retail park store will operate as a Northumberland food hall, showcasing and celebrating local produce, and complementing Turnbull’s existing shop.