Golfrate has unveiled plans for a £145m redevelopment of the London Trocadero. It has plans to transform the 'tired' West End site into an up-market yet diverse retail, hotel and leisure destination. It plans to reconfigure the lower floors to provide larger, quality retail and leisure units, with the aim of attracting major retailers and aspirational consumers, akin to Regent Street, while a 600-bedroom hotel will be provided on the upper floors.

Woolworths is pulling out of a major city for good - because of an offer it "could not refuse."

The St James shopping centre in Edinburgh is set for redevelopment after Henderson's UK Shopping Centre Fund bought the 450,000 sq ft mall from Irish investor Donegal Place Investments for £184m in a deal reflecting an equivalent yield of 5.2 per cent.

Four more leading fashion retailers have joined The Bristol Alliance's 1 million sq ft redevelopment of Bristol city centre. Inditex is taking stores for its Zara and Bershka brands and Reiss and Schuh have also signed.

Modus has confirmed the initial tenant line-up for its extension to the Houndshill shopping centre in Blackpool. Debenhams, Next, Clarks and River Island have all signed for the regeneration project that will treble the current size of the centre to 398,000 sq ft.

Plans have been unveiled for a multi million pound extension to Castlegate shopping centre in Stockton.

Tameside Council has given the green light this week to a £40m expansion programme for the Arcades shopping centre in Ashton-under-Lyne. Apollo Ashton LP's plans include the first major department store for Ashton and proposals for a new public transport interchange. Target opening for the new extension is Autumn 2009.

Multi Development has secured two new tenants for Victoria Square, its £320m mixed-use regeneration scheme in Belfast city centre. River Island and Goldsmiths will trade side-by-side on the upper ground level of the scheme's Grand Colonnade.

It's rare to find a 40-year-old shopping centre that's never been refurbished. But one such scheme - the 400,000 sq ft Victoria Plaza in Southend-on-Sea is finally getting a fresh start after years of decline.

The north of England is in the middle of an unprecedented development boom with towns across the region being transformed by new retail development. And while the high-profile schemes in the major cities like Liverpool One, Arndale Manchester and Eldon Square have been hogging the headlines, many of the region's smaller towns are also seeing new development.

Made-to-order sandwich operator O'Briens is embarking on a major expansion with its main focus being to increase exposure within the shopping centre market.

Well I would think it's beyond doubt that those retailers who are achieving results are those who are working harder and working smarter. The fact that empty spaces are appearing in shopping centres that previously had a waiting list indicates how tough the market is.

The dark art of shopping centre marketing often looks like the triumph of hype over substance, and there's an awful lot of 'me-too' marketing going on. But the latest campaign at the Arndale Manchester is a genuinely original and successful idea.

The first branch of The Restaurant Group's Joe's Kitchen operation was our target unit this month. To the uninitiated it wasn't immediately clear how to use the unit but after a few minutes we were seated at a table of our choice and given menus.

What could a centre manager and a hotel manager learn from each other? We asked Phil Steele of the Bridges in Sunderland and Matthew Bell of the nearby Seaham Hall hotel to swap places for a day.

Cambridge is about to see its first significant city centre retail development for three decades, as the massive Grand Arcade development begins to take shape.

When you think of Staines, Middlesex, it is not likely that a superb line-up of retailers over two successful shopping schemes, and an award-winning pedestrianised high street will naturally spring to mind.

With the concept having taken off in the US many years ago, it's not surprising that RMUs have become a hugely successful asset in the UK shopping centre industry.

With so many opportunities to generate non-rental income, it's important that shopping centre teams put time and effort into researching their diverse customer base and spend time asking their shoppers what they would like to see on the mall floor.

Commercialisation could make the difference in what promises to be a turbulent time ahead for the retail sector, according to EFM Mall Trading.

The task of reducing the amount of waste that we see go to landfill is something that most centre management teams are working hard to succeed in. And most shopping centres now have some kind of recycling initiative in place - but are they doing enough?

== ? Aylesbury ==

Outlet centres have not generally been recognised for the variety and quality of the food stores and restaurants they offer, but things are starting to change as the operators seek to use food as a point of differentiation.

HARTNELL TAYLOR COOK has appointed ALISTAIR JOHNSTONE to join its professional team in London as a rent review surveyor specialising in retail and large stores. He joins from the London borough of Bromley.

For one night in May the Manchester Arndale was turned into an exclusive concert venue when Girls Aloud, Lemar and G4 all performed in the centre to an audience of just 200 lucky VIP winners. The winners entered the centre on a red carpet through a throng of paparazzi.

Glamour model and soon-to-be celebrity mum Nell McAndrew was star guest at the official relaunch of Realm's Junction 32 outlet shopping village in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

It's not often you spot the Queen on your CCTV, but Ken Ford, the eagle-eyed chief executive of The Mall, Blackburn, spotted Her Majesty nipping in for 20 Bensons and a barm cake. He dashed out of the management suite quickly enough to ask her to unveil a plaque to mark the refurbishment of the centre.


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