My View, Laurie Barton-Wright - Our £10m investment plans

Frenchgate Centre
Frenchgate Centre

This week we’ve announced new shops and restaurants will soon be coming to Frenchgate.

Some of our stores are having a major refit and to top it off, we’ve introduced free wi-fi in centre.

The new stores and major refits include New Look, Greene King, Poundworld and a Lifestyle Fitness gym.

They will all be part of Phase Two of our £10 million investment plan, which was announced last month.

In addition to the new stores and refits, the entrance to the centre from Doncaster Railway Station will be re-configured.

It is going to be providing easier access to the centre.

This is fantastic news for Doncaster and for the Sheffield City Region.

And we are really pleased with the positive effect that the investment in the centre is already having on our retailers and the wider Doncaster community alike.

Our objectives are to focus on providing the optimum shopping experience.

We also plan to be innovative in our retail offer, and we plan to fulfil our customers’ expectations with a distinctive range of retail and leisure brands – and we think the results are extremely encouraging.

We are really looking forward to welcoming the new stores to the centre and we are looking forward to working with Lifestyle Fitness when they open what will be their first gym in a UK shopping centre – I’ll certainly be signing up when they arrive.

With international women’s fashion brand New Look reinforcing its strong presence and commitment in the centre by moving its store to a new two-floor unit on the first floor we’ve got lots to be excited about.

Poundworld will take a new lease on the ground floor.

And the brewery Greene King, trading as Hungry Horse, has signed to take a large space on the Food Mall.

The move by Hungry Horse will create about 40 new jobs for the town, and it has already encouraged the Doncaster public to vote for their own name for the pub.

And if you can’t wait for all of these exciting developments to take place, we’ve just installed free wi-fi in the centre.

This means shoppers can get online while they shop, chat and eat with us.

Research suggests half of all shoppers expect their shopping centre to provide a wi-fi service.

It also suggests four out of five customers aged between 18 and 34 use the internet when out shopping, so this is an important new service for Frenchgate, enabling us to enhance the customer experience further.

We’re excited about work beginning on the refits and new stores arriving in town and we’ll be working to bring more good news to Doncaster in the coming months.

* Laurie Barton-Wright, Centre manager, Frenchgate Shopping Centre