More than 2m visitors flock to Beverley’s Flemingate Centre in a year
Beverley’s Flemingate Centre has seen a huge surge in visitors in its second year.
More than 2.3m people have flocked to the shopping and leisure site over the past year – an increase of more than 50 per cent on its first year.
The £70m centre, which has its second anniversary on Saturday, now has 28 big retail and leisure brands and independent operators.
Some 800 jobs have been created at the centre, developed by Hull-based Wykeland Group – an increase of 100 on a year ago.
Planning approval has been given for a £1.2m trampoline arena in two vacant units, due to be opened by Xtreme Bounce Revolution early next year, creating 70 jobs.
Flemingate Centre manager Graham Tait says: “The newer arrivals have really added to the vibrancy and vitality of the centre, bringing in additional footfall that has benefited all the existing operators and making Flemingate an attractive destination both during the day and into the evening.
“Following recent planning consent, we are now in advanced negotiations with a leisure operator.
“If successfully completed, that investment will mean the centre will be 95 per cent let.”
Initial concerns the centre could have an adverse impact on the town centre have been unfounded, according to Chris Mason, of Hull-based Scotts Property.
Mr Mason says: “It is two years since the Flemingate development commenced trade, with some uncertainty at the time on how the development may impact upon the town – some fearing competition to the detriment of the established town centre, with others suggesting it will add to the retail and leisure offer to make Beverley a more comprehensive destination.
“The town centre shows very few voids with a lower number of empty shops recorded now than in 2015 and 2016.
“The evidence would certainly suggest Flemingate has strengthened and added to the vibrancy of Beverley town centre.”
Mr Mason says there is a healthy appetite for units in Beverley, as demonstrated by competitive bids for the former Briggs & Powell store in Saturday Market, sold by Scotts Property and soon to open as a Jack Wills store.
“In addition, a good range of independents continue to be attracted, particularly to smaller, more affordable units which are of a scale or layout less able to accommodate the requirements of many multiple operators.
Beverley Chamber of Trade chairman Julian Minshall believes the Flemingate Centre has boosted the town’s appeal.
He says: “It has made Beverley stronger and broadened its appeal.
“People used to drift into Hull and Kingswood but now there are more reasons to stay in Beverley.”