Work will commence later this month on the £90 million Phase II extension of Ashford Designer Outlet in Kent. The expansion forms part of the group's 148,644 sq m active development pipeline coming through over the next three years across Europe and Canada. McLaren Construction has been appointed on the project.
McArthurGlen first announced plans to expand the Ashford Designer Outlet 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.
Scheduled to open in Autumn 2019, the 9,290 sq m extension will deliver up to 50 additional premium and luxury brands, a new food piazza, an events space and a redesigned children’s play area, as well as 725 new parking spaces. 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.
'After four years of meticulous planning we’re incredibly excited to confirm that building works on the 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 and the retail environment for our brand partners. 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,' says Claude Hargreave, director of development at McArthurGlen.
This will be Ashford Designer Outlet's first extension since opening in 2000. The existing 17,187 sq m 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.
Several new and exciting premium and luxury brands are already signed up to join Ashford Designer Outlet when it opens next year. Adrian Nelson, McArthurGlen’s Group leasing and brand development director, adds: '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.'