Ellandi invests £50m in former intu Merry Hill site

A multi-million pound programme of investment has been announced by Ellandi, the privately-owned shopping centre operator, is set to transform Merry Hill shopping centre near Birmingham into a ‘best-in-class regional retail destination’ in the West Midlands by July 2025. 

Delivered over five years and beginning with a first stage relaunch in September 2021, the £50 million+ investment will see Merry Hill undergo a major transformation, including a new placemaking masterplan for the 2 million sq ft+ centre and surrounding waterfront and leisure destination.

Ellandi said the goal of the investment is to build on the best-in-class retail offer provided by occupiers such as Next, JD Sport and Primark; creating a stand-out environment that will secure further leading brands in their flagship formats, and an enhanced leisure offer to provide customers with an exemplary experience unique to Merry Hill. Already, a further 22 units are in negotiation or under offer, totalling over 230,000 sq ft.

Plans include the development of a new family entertainment ‘Leisure District’, allowing visitors of all ages to enjoy a range of non-retail activities and attractions, as well new restaurants. 

Existing leisure facilities will undergo substantial upgrades and be better connected to the main mall.

Mark Robinson, co-founder of Ellandi, commented: “Despite the pandemic, Merry Hill has seen footfall outperforming city-centre locations and other super-regional shopping centres, but we can’t rest on our laurels. Our plans will ensure that by 2025 Merry Hill will be the West Midland’s most vibrant family lifestyle destination, embedded at the heart of the local community.

“This investment will not only enhance and complement Merry Hill’s existing retail offering, but also the range of leisure-led, non-retail and food and beverage attractions – delivering a high-quality environment in which shoppers can also spend their days socialising, relaxing and having fun.”

A new centre manager has also been appointed for Merry Hill. Jonathan Poole, formerly centre manager at The Liberty centre in Romford, took up the position this spring, bringing with him more than 20 years’ experience managing some of the UK’s best-known retail destinations. 

Poole said: “I am delighted to have joined Merry Hill at such an exciting and transformative point in its history, with today’s announcement putting it on track to become the unrivalled shopping and family leisure destination for the West Midlands. 

“While I have only been here for a short while, I have been immensely impressed – not only by the fact that many retailers continue to operate at well above average, but also Ellandi’s highly ambitious plans, which will truly take the centre to a new level.”

Time Retail Partners and JLL have been appointed as joint leasing agents on Merry Hill, to support Ellandi in delivering the enhanced offer across retail, leisure and food & beverage.

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