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Boss of Anglia Square in Norwich says future is bright, but rules out Tesco store

PUBLISHED: 16:23 20 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:23 20 July 2015

Eric Kirk, general manager of Anglia Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Eric Kirk, general manager of Anglia Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2015

The manager of Norwich’s Anglia Square shopping centre has said its future is bright, but that people should not expect an immediate redevelopment at the complex.

The shopping centre was bought by international investment managers Threadneedle Investments for £7,5m a little over a year ago – a dramatic drop on the £36m price tag it had commanded less than a decade before.

Prior to the sale, plans had been approved by Norwich City Council for a major revamp at the complex. Those plans were for 174 new homes, a public square, new shops, restaurants, cafes and a healthcare centre, while Gildengate House, the office block over the entrance to the car park, would have been updated to provide modern offices.

The plans also included a 7,792 square metre foodstore, which Tesco in talks over becoming the new look square’s flagship shop.

But centre manager Eric Kirk, who used to manage the city’s Castle Mall, said the aim for the immediate future was to improve what is currently on offer at Anglia Square.

He said: “We are constantly chipping away at the edges. The plan is to lift what we have got. We do need to offer an improved aspect and environment, but we want to do that in a way which preserves it for what it is - a great community shopping centre which is of massive benefit to local people.

“To talk about development is very difficult. We inherited a whole host of problems, such as Sovereign House, which has been derelict for a very long time.

“We have had to do a site survey before we can do anything else and we have only just been able to get in there to work out what we can do.”

Mr Kirk said there would be no sudden transformation, but that work would happen in phases. And he poured cold water on the Tesco speculation.

“Do we really need another Tesco?” he asked. “We’ve already got Iceland and another major supermarket would detract from what we are trying to do.”

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