Multi-million pound investment at The Ridings

Newspaper: Wakefield Express.
Story: New owners of The Ridings shopping mall, Wakefield, NewRiver Retail.
L to R) Lucy Mitchell, Paul Wright, Sara Hassan.
Reporter: Michael Muncaster.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 10/02/16
Picture Ref: AB053b0216
Newspaper: Wakefield Express. Story: New owners of The Ridings shopping mall, Wakefield, NewRiver Retail. L to R) Lucy Mitchell, Paul Wright, Sara Hassan. Reporter: Michael Muncaster. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 10/02/16 Picture Ref: AB053b0216
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The Ridings Shopping Centre is about to undergo a major revamp as part of a multi-million pound investment.

Property investor NewRiver Retail bought four shopping centres and two retail warehouses, including The Ridings, for £108 million in December last year.

The new owners have drawn up plans to refurbish the city shopping centre, which they hope will attract new retailers and create jobs.

NewRiver Retail’s marketing director Lucy Mitchell said: “Our goal is to bring the personality back to the shopping centre. It has faded over time, especially after Trinity Walk came to Wakefield.

“We want to restore the pride it once had which brought people to the city.”

The revamp will include updating the centre’s signage, improving existing retail space and filling vacant units.

NewRiver Retail is currently in talks with several retailers about potentially opening new stores in the centre.

And the owners hope the redevelopment will persuade shoppers to linger for longer, make a day of their visit and spend more money in the city.

Mrs Mitchell said: “We see this as a big opportunity to bring new retailers in.

“We are particularly keen to improve the food and beverages section.

“We are speaking with the current stores to find out their requirements as we want the changes to stand the test of time.”

NewRiver Retail director Paul Wright said the company will invest millions of pounds to revamp the centre.

He added: “It feels like it has lost its identity. We want to bring that back and for it to appeal to the community.”

NewRiver Retail hopes to start the work to redevelop the shopping centre this year.

The Ridings Shopping Centre is a ​320,000 sq ft ​covered multi-level shopping centre with 10 million annual footfall.

The centre has a mixture of high street stores, specialist shops and a food court.

Its key retailers are Primark, Morrisons, TK Maxx, Marks & Spencer and BHS.

The Ridings marketing manager Sara Hassan said: “The management team are very excited to be a part of the project to refurbish the shopping centre.

“We are really happy to be working with the team. It is a massive project for the city and it will be an exciting year ahead.”