intu has launched the £72m leisure extension to intu Lakeside this week to attract millions more people to one of the UK’s most popular shopping destinations.
The 225,000 sq ft expansion, anchored by some of Britain’s biggest and best leisure operators, is set to increase intu Lakeside’s 20 million footfall a year by more than two million and transform the centre into a major south east tourist destination.
Puttshack’s second site, one of Hollywood Bowl’s biggest venues and trampoline park brand Flipout have now opened there and a fourth leisure anchor, Nickelodeon’s first UK family entertainment centre, will launch in the autumn
The Hall, the first out-of-town concept from food hall operator Market Halls, and a range of other restaurants including new brands Chiktopia and Casco Lounge have all joined intu Lakeside’s growing dinner offer.
Two former car parks were transformed into the new area which overlooks intu Lakeside’s 22-acre lake as well as a new 7,000 sq ft public realm space featuring landscaped areas and integrated lighting, sound and water-powered technology to further engage visitors.
Matthew Roberts, intu chief executive, said, “Compelling leisure experiences are well-recognised drivers of shopping centre footfall and dwell time and a project of this scale is a real first for the UK market.”
“It has been created to ensure intu Lakeside remains one of the country’s most popular retail and leisure destinations for many years to come and we have curated a fantastic of mix of flourishing leisure and dining brands to guarantee its success.”
The new space and a multi-million-pound refurbishment of the rest of the centre has also been welcomed by retailers including Zara and River Island who in turn have invested millions extending and refurbishing their intu Lakeside stores.
intu has also unveiled its vision to develop more than 1,000 homes at intu Lakeside as part of its new, five-year strategy and, under this new strategy, is exploring other opportunities to build new homes, hotels and flexible-working spaces and transform its centres nationwide.