01 February 2023

THE WIDESPREAD investment in Sunderland is helping to secure the future of leading retail brands in the city, according to a shopping centre boss.

Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, believes the transformation and developments in the city is having a positive knock-on effect.

And she has revealed that a number of long-term tenancy agreements with retailers have recently been agreed– securing their presence in the centre for the future.

The centre director said a number of retailers had relocated to other units “which are more suitable for their needs” which had led to securing long-term tenancies.

“By doing so we have secured the commitment from major high street names, ensuring they will trade with us for years to come,” said Karen.

At the end of 2022 Clintons, HMV and Starbucks all moved to new units at the Bridges and this week it was confirmed that the old Disney Store unit and the former HMV unit will now be occupied by New Look, which will be beginning its refit with a view to be open by Easter.

“Investment made by the landlord of the Bridges amounts to £2.15m – a really significant amount,” said the director.

“This was supported by further investments from our retailers as part of their move.

“Sunderland is receiving a great deal of positive attention and this is because of the ambitious and exciting developments that are taking place here.

“It’s fantastic that the Bridges is also able to develop and grow alongside the wider city plans and play its part in bringing attention to Sunderland and what it has to offer.” 

Karen added that a great deal of work was taking place “behind the scenes” to secure new retailers for the centre.

“We are having some very positive discussions and we look forward to being able to share more information when we are in a position to do so,” she said.

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