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Revamp planned for city centre shopping outlet

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Proposed plans for Stirling Thistles Centre. Photo: Standard Life Investments

Stirling’s Thistles centre is to undergo a major revamp moving several stores such as Boots and Next if plans to extend several shopping units are approved.

Plans submitted to Stirlling Council this week by SLI Shopping Centre Trust, propose the extension of units 34-40, allowing the pharmacy retailer to move into the new space.

Next would move into the existing Boots outlet, in a bid to deter them from seeking accommodation elsewhere.

Contained within their plans, Standard Life Investments detailed the reasons behind this latest proposal.

The plans said: “The driver behind the scheme is to offer Next Retail Ltd a unit of substantial size to keep them within the centre.

“Current preference for Next is for large ‘retail park’ type stores at present, with multiple departments. This scheme will allow sufficient area to ensure Next will remain in the Thistle Shopping Centre and prevent relocation to an out of town retail park.

“Next currently have a unit of 1211 square feet within the centre. They require a unit of 3610 square feet. This would allow Next to expend its offer to its current trading model with the additional of homeware and children’s wear.”

Along with the centre’s main refurbishment, the report highlights plans to close the King Street entrance, replacing it with a new ‘kiosk’, with the existing entrances at Murray Place and Port Street being strengthened.

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Thistle Shopping Centre King Street Entrance. Photo: Visit Scotland.

The company added: “Flooding has been a key issue recently with a problematic storm drainage at the base of King Street. This has led to a ‘river’ running into the Castlegait Mall at the Mall entrance. Closing this entrance and the introduction of the kiosk will allow localised raising of levels and regarding of the pavement to reduce the risk of water ingress into the building.”

All current retailers affected by these plans have already been notified and offered alternative units within the centre’s foundations. Shoe retailer Clarks moved to another location within the centre earlier this year; meanwhile, juice bar Fuel is expected to leave their current premises in exchange for a freestanding kiosk within the centre. Thorntons is also looking for alternate space seeking a larger unit in the near future.

This latest plan is one in a line of changes to the premises since its construction in 1977, including its prominent extension and the relocation of several outlets.

 

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