Bright future ahead for Derby’s primary shopping centre

International real estate advisor Savills and Ken Ford, former Executive Director of Capital & Regional, have been appointed to take on the management of intu Derby. Supported by the existing centre team, the new management will deliver an innovative and agile asset management strategy for the city centre destination. The centre has been at the heart of the city for 13 years, attracts an annual footfall of more than 21 million people and is more than 90 per cent let.

Ken brings over 40 years of experience in the sector, having led multiple town and city centre repositioning projects. Savills will manage the day-to-day running of the centre on an operational level with the highest levels of customer service that consumers have come to expect.

Ken Ford commented: “The fundamentals of Derby remain strong and I am looking forward to working with the team to develop a repositioning strategy that will ensure the centre can continue its positive trajectory. The centre enjoys high levels of interest from national brands, thanks to its strong catchment and footfall, and our plans will only help further this potential.”

The announcement comes as real estate investment and finance firm Cale Street Investments has confirmed it has consolidated its ownership in the 1.3m sq ft shopping centre, thereby securing full control.

Richard Hulme, Head of Regional Shopping Centre Management at Savills, added: “We are incredibly excited to be working on such a prestigious regional scheme. This is a significant instruction and we are very much looking forward to working with Cale Street Investments, Ken and the centre management team to continually develop the centre, which plays such an important part in both the local and national retail market.”

Jim Tucker, joint administrator of intu properties plc, said: “This is the first intu centre to migrate to new management and ownership following the administration of the Group’s Topcos back in June, and as such marks a key milestone in the administration process. To have achieved such a smooth and orderly handover in such a short timescale is a testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved, not least the intu Derby employees who have continued to work with enthusiasm and professionalism throughout the administration. We wish Ken and the wider team in Derby all the very best.”

Adam Tamsett, General Manager for the centre, said: “The centre has proven extremely resilient in recent months with an occupation rate above 90 per cent, and the signing of new brand names this summer including Whistles, The Disney Store and Rickshaw Urban Indian Kitchen. The new management team will help build on this success to develop a new vision for the centre, and the onsite team are optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The centre, developed by Westfield in 2007, offers a very attractive and high quality environment with over 200 retailers including Next, Zara, H&M, M&S, Hobbs, Hugo Boss, Whistles, The Disney Store, Lush and JD Sports. It is also home to the main car park in the city (including over 3,600 spaces), a vibrant food court, and a leisure hub anchored by a 12-screen Showcase Cinema De Lux, Hollywood Bowl, Paradise Island Adventure Golf and the 640 seat Derby Theatre.

The centre sits in an affluent core catchment of 2.3 million consumers with an annual spending potential of £10.9 billion. The region enjoys one of the highest levels of disposable income in the UK.