4th January 2018
McLaren Construction appointed on the new £90 million expansion
- 100,000 sq ft. extension will open in Autumn 2019
- £90 million investment in to the project
- 50 new premium and luxury brands, including a new food piazza
- 500 further jobs generated across the Centre
- 725 additional parking spaces
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford confirmed today that McLaren Construction has been appointed on the much anticipated 100,000 sq ft. extension to the centre ahead of building works commencing later this month. This will be Ashford Designer Outlet’s first extension since opening in 2000. The existing 185,000 sq ft. centre, which has the world’s largest tented retail structure, was designed by the renowned architect Richard Rogers who is famous for the Lloyd’s building in London as well as The O2 Arena.
McArthurGlen first announced plans to expand the centre in 2014 and secured planning approval from Ashford Borough Council in September 2015. During that time the centre’s popularity has continued to soar and it now welcomes over 3.6 million guests every year to take advantage of year-round savings of up to 60 per cent, with increasing numbers of London visitors and European and international tourists.
Peter Corr, Centre Manager at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford, said: “After four years of meticulous planning we’re incredibly excited to confirm that building works on the new extension will commence this January. Over the next 18 months we will be investing £90 million into the centre to elevate the whole shopping experience for our guests, while also working hard to ensure our visitor experience remains memorable and enjoyable during this time. Once the extension is complete Ashford Designer Outlet will become one of the UK’s flagship fashion, food and homeware destinations, with over 130 stores, restaurants and cafes.“
Scheduled to open in Autumn 2019, the extension will deliver up to 50 additional premium and luxury brands, a new food piazza, 725 further parking spaces as well as a new events space and redesigned children’s play area. The expansion will also include the installation of Europe’s largest living wall structure and many of the stores in the new phase will be clad in tens of thousands of plants, all stacked vertically.
Initial works will commence in the food court from Monday 8th January. Visitors will still be able to enjoy an extensive food and beverage offering throughout the centre including the likes of Pizza Express, Wagamama, Subway, Café Nero, Patisserie Valerie, Lost Sheep Coffee and a variety of pop up food and drink concepts.
Several new and exciting premium and luxury brands are already signed up to join Ashford Designer Outlet when it opens next year. Peter Corr said: “While it’s too early to reveal any names, we are committed to expanding the extensive range of brands already on offer. In the past three years alone we’ve introduced highly sought-after brands including Calvin Klein, All Saints, Diesel, Cath Kidston, Osprey London, Jack Wills, Timberland and Abercrombie & Fitch.”
The expansion of Ashford Designer Outlet is one of eight major projects highlighted by Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council as key employment and economic drivers in the development of the area. Generating over 500 jobs, the expansion will also include a complimentary shuttle bus linking the Ashford Designer Outlet, the town centre and the international train station at peak weekends and during the school holidays. McArthurGlen is also providing funds for the enhancement of pedestrian and cycle routes from the station.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “We are pleased to hear McArthurGlen announce its building contractor and confirm that building works will commence shortly. The expansion of the Designer Outlet will transform it into one of the UK’s premier outlet centres, enhancing the shopping experience and providing a complementary offer to our town centre. This news illustrates the confidence that major investors have in Ashford and the borough’s future. It is clear that we are gaining a growing reputation as a town attracting inward investment and high-calibre, quality brands.”