Eldon Square comes in at 1.35m sq ft. Credit: via BWP Group

Next takes 60,000 sq ft as Eldon Square gears up for change

With Sephora also signed up, an enhanced co-operation agreement has been reached as plans to overhaul 200,000 sq ft of the complex in a leisure-led revamp advance.

When consultation was launched over the repositioning of the centre in late 2023, Eldon Square and Newcastle City Council said that a deal was close with a big name retailer for the bottom two floors of the former Debenhams space.

That retailer has now been revealed as Next, which has committed to 61,000 sq ft, to open in November, in a major upgrade on its present Eldon Square location.

Also signing for space is beauty retailer Sephora, which will occupy a 6,600 sq ft store from later this year.

As part of the wider project, for which a planning application was made in December, the former Eldon leisure Centre will be redeveloped in a wide-ranging 120,000 sq ft leisure attraction.

Pete Cooper, director at Eldon Square Ltd, said: “With these deals, Eldon Square consolidates its position as a Premier League player in Newcastle city centre and our flourishing partnership with Newcastle City Council enables us to progress our ambitious growth plans at speed. We are accelerating the centre’s performance, whilst helping to widen the city centre’s leisure and entertainment offering.”

Cllr Nick Kemp, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “This exciting announcement shows just how attractive Newcastle is for global retailers. It is a vote of confidence in our city centre and a statement of intent by the retail industry.

“Not only will the opening of these stores attract more visitors to our city but it will create jobs and boost our economy. We will work with partners to create more opportunities in Newcastle, that help grow an inclusive economy to benefit every resident.”

With an annual footfall of 26m, Eldon Square is one of the UK’s most visited city centre malls, taking up around 1.35m sq ft. Currently it houses around 140 retailers, including John Lewis & Partners, Fenwick, Apple, Boots, Next and H&M. There are also 20 restaurants. 

Eldon Square is managed by specialist investment manager Pradera Lateral and Savills. 

The new co-operation agreement will further strengthen the ongoing partnership between Eldon Square Ltd and Newcastle City Council, the partners said.

Jayne Pushon, NEXT, said: “We are very excited to be launching a new large format store in Newcastle and look forward to welcoming more customers to Eldon Square. We are delighted to be able to introduce customers to our new home and beauty department, where we will have staff on hand to talk more about our exciting product ranges in the new store.”

Cooper concluded: “NEXT’s new store will significantly increase the brand’s presence in the city. It is great to see one of our existing retailers investing in Eldon Square and expanding their offer to meet customer demand in line with the latest retail trends.

“Working closely with Newcastle City Council, we will continue to bolster our already strong line-up of popular brands. These latest announcements are just a preview of more exciting news to come – Eldon Square will be the scheme to watch this summer and beyond.”

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