McArthurGlen's £40million regeneration of Swindon's historic railway building
One of the world’s most historically significant railway buildings – the Long Shop – has been officially re-opened to the public for the first time in nearly 30 years. The launch follows the completion of a £40-million investment in Swindon Designer Outlet – which was developed by McArthurGlen and continues to be managed by Europe’s leader in designer outlet retailing – by the UK Outlet Mall Partnership and TH Real Estate. The investment sees the incorporation of the Grade II-listed building to expand the centre to 250,000 sq ft retail space and over 120 brands. Following the official closure of the Railway Works in 1986, the Long Shop was destined for decay until planning submission was submitted in June 2012 by McArthurGlen, and successfully granted in December that year, allowing for the incorporation of the Long Shop as part of the extension of Swindon Designer Outlet – the first for 16 years. This is the biggest investment into the six designer outlets that comprise the McArthurGlen UK portfolio.
Gary Bond, McArthurGlen’s Development Director, says: “The regeneration of the Long Shop has not only ensured the conservation of the buildings comprising the Great Western Railway Works, but also contributed to furthering Swindon’s economic potential as one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK. To date, the investment has created an additional 350 jobs for the local community, making the centre one of the biggest employers in the area with 1,100 staff.” Gary Bond adds: “The opening of the Long Shop and the refurbishment of the centre is about taking the shopping experience to a new level of excellence. It also builds on Swindon Designer Outlet’s position as one of the leading retail destinations in the South West of England, with the opportunity to build on a 10% LFL sales growth in the past 12 months.”