On behalf of UGS Northampton Limited, a subsidiary of Bursha Holdings, Colliers International’s London Planning team has secured permission for the flexible use of vacant units at Market Walk Shopping Centre, Northampton.

Northampton’s Market Walk Shopping Centre had been struggling following the economic recession and the loss of anchor tenants including Next and Laura Ashley. UGS Northampton Limited therefore instructed Colliers International to provide planning, development and destination consultancy advice, which explored opportunities for the centre’s reinvigoration in 2016. Colliers’ analysis concluded that refocussing the centre by allowing vacant units to meet demand for leisure uses could revitalise the popular shopping route and increase footfall.

The new flexible planning permission allows vacant units to also be occupied by professional services, food and beverage operators. This is a positive step forward for the prominently located centre, which falls within a shopping frontage where the Council normally strongly resists non-retail uses.

Alison Mackay, Senior Planning Consultant at Colliers International, said: “Market Walk Shopping Centre has been significantly impacted by competition in recent years. Colliers International was able to demonstrate that a more flexible approach to use of the centre was beneficial, despite strict planning policies protecting standard retail uses. This increased flexibility will revitalise the shopping centre and complement the wider strategy for regeneration of Northampton Town Centre, not least by widening the leisure offer available around the Market Square.”

Jack Paravicini, Commercial Director at Bursha Holdings, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have secured permission for a greater range of uses at Market Walk Shopping Centre. Many retailers have struggled over the past few years and this is a fantastic opportunity to breathe new life into the heart of Northampton. We’re confident that, in repositioning Market Walk, we’re able to contribute to the continued revival of this historic market town and help to support a thriving town centre.”

Colliers International acted on behalf of UGS Northampton Limited, the current owners of the shopping centre.