RPMI Railpen (Railpen), the investment manager for the £31bn Railways Pension Scheme, has announced the completion of the significant first phase of its comprehensive refurbishment programme at Caledonia Park.
The programme commenced in late 2020 and forms part of Railpen’s major investment scheme to transform the well-positioned retail destination, formerly known as Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, into Scotland’s premier designer village.
The completed initial phase of refurbishment involved enhancing the public realm, architecture and landscaping, creating a more contemporary and appealing environment for visitors and the community of world-class brands that Caledonia Park hosts.
Railpen brought in Ridgelift Development Management to oversee the works, which includedfitting new timber façade treatments and individual canopies to numerous retail units across the destination, including Adidas and Levi’s. Retailers have also benefitted from the restoration of unit entrance and finishes, with new doors and windows fitted across many storefronts, complemented by the revitalisation of custom greenery and planting throughout the scheme.
Mahmoud Attia, Asset Manager at RPMI Railpen, commented: “As responsible investors, it is important for us to prioritise the modernisation and general future-proofing of assets across our portfolio. This is a major milestone for Railpen in the process of evolving Caledonia Park, and the works completed will bring long term value to tenants and visitors alike.”
With phase one now completed, the wider investment programme at Caledonia Park is expected to come to an end in November 2021, in time for the Christmas period. Railpen’s subsequent phase of works at Caledonia Park will involve a reconfiguration of units, allowing increased space for retailers and general operations.
The investment milestone follows the destination’s strong sales performance throughout 2020, with the scheme’s sought-after tenant mix and excellent connectivity driving a year-on-year uplift across its beauty and wellness, home and DIY, and fashion and accessory categories.
Railpen’s revitalisation of the destination coincides with the roll-out of the UK government’s £394m Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, which involves significant and sustainable investments in the region surrounding Caledonia Park.