A ground-breaking ceremony last Friday marked the start of construction of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands, the new £160 million shopping and leisure destination that will open in 2020.
Over 40 guests joined McArthurGlen and Cannock Chase Council for the ceremony, including McArthurGlen’s partners Aviva Investors, The Richardson Family and U+I, as well as MP Amanda Milling and contractor Bowmer & Kirkland.
Gary Bond, Managing Director of Development at McArthurGlen, said: “This development would not have been possible without the clear leadership and vision of Cannock Chase Council who believed in this project from the very start, and supported the development at every level. Over the next two years, this 30-acre site will be transformed into a landmark retail destination, introducing 80 sought-after brands to the West Midlands and creating 1,000 retail jobs for the local community.”
Councillor George Adamson, Leader of Cannock Chase Council, added: “This is an exciting time for the district, and we are immensely proud that this momentous development is now officially underway. We will continue to work closely with McArthurGlen during construction and look forward to the opening of a unique new retail space for all to enjoy.”
Following speeches and photographs, the ceremony concluded at Langan’s Tea rooms, a social enterprise that is part of the O’Connor Gateway Charitable Trust, which provides education, training and employment for individuals who have undergone rehabilitation.
McArthurGlen, which is Europe’s leading owner, developer and manager of designer outlets, began site preparation and earth works at Cannock earlier this summer.
The start of construction comes at a time of rapid growth for McArthurGlen, which opened Europe’s first designer outlet in the UK in 1995 and now operates 24 centres in nine countries. The Group will enter its 10th market when it opens the first designer outlet in the south of Spain in 2019. It is currently expanding two of its existing centres in the UK - Cheshire Oaks near Manchester, which is the country’s largest designer outlet, and Ashford near London. Earlier this year, the company announced that it will be adding a second phase to its award-winning centre at Vancouver Airport in Canada. West Midlands Designer Outlet will become the Group’s 26th centre, and their seventh in the UK.