Shopping centre development is set to hit a four-year high in 2017, according to analysis by Cushman & Wakefield.
New openings and redevelopments totalling 2.7m sq ft are currently under construction and due to open next year, the largest amount of new retail floor space added since 2013.
Cushman & Wakefield’s UK Shopping Centre Development report highlights a lack of activity so far this year, with shopping centre floorspace remaining static at 185.6m sq ft.
However, 10 schemes totalling 1.4m sq ft are due to be completed by the end of 2016. They include Victoria Gate in Leeds and Bond Street in Chelmsford.
New openings due to take place in 2017 include the 580,000 sq ft Lexicon shopping centre in Bracknell. Other development include an extension at Westfield London and the redeveloped Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford.
John Percy, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of shopping centre development consultancy, said: “In football parlance, this has been a year of two halves. After a quiet first six months, we will see schemes completing up and down the country and 2017 will be busier still.
“More than half of this new space consists of extensions to, or refurbishments of, existing centres, reflecting the additional risks and costs of establishing a new build project and taking it through the development process.”
Shopping centre investment volumes in the first half of 2016 totalled £1.46bn, down 27% year-on-year. Local authorities accounted for five of 27 transactions.
Percy said: “Councils have the advantage of a low cost of capital but purchasing assets also gives them the opportunity to ensure coordinated control of town centre redevelopment.”