Hammerson announces that its first dedicated leisure-led development, Westquay Watermark in Southampton has completed, providing the city with the UK’s largest restaurant and dining complex.
Boosting Westquay’s total leisure and retail space to over 1 million square feet (93,500 square metres) and marking an £85 million investment in Southampton, the scheme has completely transformed the city’s leisure and dining offer. With its all new line-up of over 20 restaurants including Five Guys, Bills, Cau, Franco Manca, Byron, Nando’s, Casa Brasil, Cosmo and Red Dog Saloon, the scheme has provided a gateway for the brands into the city, a number of them choosing the scheme to open their first restaurants outside of London.
Currently 95% let, the development also incorporates a Hollywood Bowl and a 10-screen Showcase Cinema de Lux, which opened its doors to the public for the first time on Friday 10th February. The cinema is a UK first for Showcase with its laser projection and Dolby Atmos™ sound technology in every screen. The cinema also boasts the South Coast’s largest XPlus screen and fully customizable electric recliner seat in every auditorium.
Designed by architectural team, ACME, the development has regenerated an underutilised part of the city, bringing back to life the historic city walls that provide a unique backdrop for the scheme. Being able to attract such a strong tenant mix clearly demonstrates the strength of Southampton as a vibrant and growing regional city, offering brands a compelling opportunity to become part of a new landmark on the South Coast.
Having received £7 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to support the provision of public realm, Westquay also now includes a stunning new public Esplanade, with its own dedicated programme of events for residents and visitors throughout the year. The first of these events celebrated the launch of the cinema over the weekend with a spectacular Light Festival.
One of Southampton City Council’s eight VIP ‘Heart of the City’ projects as identified within its City Centre Master Plan, the comprehensive redevelopment of the site has proved instrumental in supporting local employment. Over 1000 employment opportunities have been created including 640 in construction, with 45% of construction staff on the development living within 20 miles of the site, and 500 jobs in the hospitality and catering sector.
David Atkins, Hammerson CEO, said: “Completion of Westquay Watermark is an important milestone for the business, marking Hammerson’s first solely leisure-led development and the largest development of its kind in the UK. By utilising our skills and experience in delivering consumer-led destinations we have cemented Westquay’s position as the South Coast’s leading retail, dining and leisure destination, whilst also breathing life into a previously lost part of the city.”