With Colliers’ Retail Health Check reporting that vacant floorspace in Central London has now risen above 2%, levels not seen since July 2010, I was excited to hear of the new restaurant collective Market Hall opening soon in Victoria. With three venues set to open this year, Market Hall is harnessing the food and drink industry’s creative talents under one roof, it is a brilliant example of the innovative ways in which once busy buildings can, with some lateral thinking, be refashioned to meet the changing trends in how we use our high street.
This creative ethos of bringing high street spaces back to life represents an exciting opportunity for secondary shopping centres. Once a magnet for high street brands, secondary shopping centres are now tired and in some cases sitting empty. However, many of their initial qualities remain true today, they are well located and offer flexible space which, with a little creativity and use change could bring the spaces back to life and make them useful to the community again. I can see real potential in these spaces being reworked into office and lifestyle hubs for a generation of bright young things
By Richard Bourne, Managing Director