An empty Marks & Spencer store is set to be converted into a gym as the owners of a Milton Keynes shopping centre look to the future.
TBL (Milton Keynes), a company owned by British Land, has applied to Milton Keynes Council to change three of the units at the Kingston Centre to attract different types of businesses.
“British Land’s vision is to create a destination brand experience across all their shopping parks and repackage these as complete environments designed to take care of consumers, serve as hubs for local communities and provide a thriving setting for retailers,” said a statement from architects Stride Treglown.
The vision they have is to evolve ‘spaces for retail’ into ‘places for people’ by creating a centre that customers will visit more frequently and stay for longer to meet, shop, eat and relax.
“The retail market today continues to evolve and the park must evolve along with it,” the statement adds.
“Both changes of use and changes to the built fabric of the park are needed to attract new tenants and maintain existing ones.”
The planning application currently available for comment on the MK Council website, also wants to see alterations to the shop fronts; the creation of new entrances, parking spaces, and reconfiguration of service yard.
The units subject to this proposal are the vacant M&S and Next units (Units 1b and 1c respectively) and Mamas & Papas (Unit 1a).
These three units are set to be internally reconfigured by moving the partitions to vary the size of the units into two large and one smaller unit. The small unit is set to be the gym.
Kingston Centre was built in the early 1990s and has a large Tesco Extra, and a host of national retailers and restaurant chains, including Wilko, Costa, Clarks, Chiquitos, Smash Burger, and Boots.