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Hermiston Gait Retail Boost

Oct 1th 2012

A £4m investment in Edinburgh’s Hermiston Gait Retail Park, in the west of the city, is set to offer a major boost to shoppers and retailers, as property consultancy Colliers International puts the finishing touches to a three-year refurbishment programme. The retail park, acquired by Scottish Widows Investment Partnership Property Trust (SWIPPT) in 2009, has also seen significant growth in footfall since the arrival of international sports and leisure retailer Decathlon late last year.

Two new tenants have also been announced, with Krispy Kreme opening its first Hotlight store in Scotland, featuring a drive-thru and Doughnut Theatre, where customers can view doughnuts being made. The outlet is joined by iconic fast food brand KFC, which will also open a drive thru and restaurant. Construction is already well under way on both units, located next to Novotel Edinburgh Park. 

“This extensive remodelling and refurbishment of Hermiston Gait is setting a new standard in out-of-town shopping in west Edinburgh,” said Richard Whitfield, director of building consultancy with Colliers International. 

Annemarie McGrath, project manager with Colliers International, added: “The team has overcome some significant building and planning challenges to deliver a transformation, which has kept disruption to a minimum. Much of the work has been carried out at night and that has allowed retailers to maintain trade.” 

A comprehensive programme of façade improvement work, including the installation of new sandstone cladding, has now been completed for the eight retail units. Striking new glass canopies at the entrance to each store have also been installed, with significant daylight enhancements through double-height glazing. Extensive landscaping and lighting improvements and new ‘totem’ pole retail park signage have also been undertaken to improve the appearance of the park. 

Anthony Aitken, head of planning with Colliers International, explained: “The addition of a food offering will support the growth and popularity of Hermiston Gait and represents logical planning use of the site. We have worked closely with City of Edinburgh’s planning and roads teams, as well as the Scottish Government Trunks Roads Authority, to ensure that this new development does not have an adverse impact on the surrounding road network and provides for new development on a previously vacant and derelict site.” 

Gerry Ferguson, manager of the SWIP Property Trust, commented: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Colliers International and even more thrilled to be investing in a retail park in Edinburgh, where SWIP’s head office is based. This high-quality retail park continues to attract interest from a number of credible, blue chip companies and is ideally situated to provide a convenient shopping experience for consumers. This suitably compliments the object of SWIPPT, which aims to identify good quality assets with solid income and strong growth potential.” 

Retailers currently located at Hermiston Gait Retail Park include Decathlon, Currys, Halfords, Poundworld, Carpetright, Staples, Mothercare, Tesco and B&Q, with Krispy Kreme and KFC due to open early 2013.

Source: Colliers International

1 Oct 2012