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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.”

• Do you have a business story? Call business editor Ben Woods on ben.woods@archant.co.uk or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

10 comments

  • Anglia Sq is a complete eyesore. The new improved road structure around it is very good but it's a shame the blight on the landscape is the Sq itself.

    Report this comment

    Carl Melton

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015

  • Hasn't Ben the same since Fine Fare closed and Waits the men's clothes shops moved out, it is never going to become an area of quality shops but could concentrate on some low cost retailers , shame TKmax couldn't open a branch there. QD is actually not a bad shop for reasonably priced stuff and end of line bargains.

    Report this comment

    Jenkins

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • I would just like to say what a lovely man Eric is. I have met him a few times at the Magdalen Street celebration meetings and he is so positive about everything.

    Report this comment

    helen simpson-slapp

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • I'm glad the future looks bright, because otherwise the rain pours the rotten roofs of many buildings.

    Report this comment

    Twig Stevens

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • I prefer Anglia Square to the boring, sanitised, up-market pretentiousness of certain other Malls. I detest their slight feeling of of claustrophobia and bad air-conditioning. I agree with el84. There IS a sense of community, it feels down-to-earth and friendly. How about some "tasteful" (l.o.l.) street-art, in the Square, Mr. Kirk, personally I really enjoy the local graffiti; it's cheerful colour, talent and originality. I also wish the surrounding empty property could be converted to flats, whilst preserving it's facades. (Surely Norwich doesn't need more offices.) But of course, that would be too expensive! I like the architecture now - it's "grown on me." I really do wish Mr. Kirk plain sailing and a lot of luck. As the estate agents say, "loads of potential here"!

    Report this comment

    catharthis

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • As said already, demolish and redevelop. It's a flawed development that will never be fit for purpose. The land alone must be worth close to £7.5 million.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • I'll believe it when I see it, Anglia square is full of asbestos, it would cost millions to redevelop, people would have to be moved out of their homes and buisneses would have to be closed, so instead choose to let it fester.

    Report this comment

    Tim H

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • The shops in Anglia Square are as a whole friendly & helpful & that makes shopping there a pleasure. However. I do not see how the environment or the shops can be improved without dealing with the issues that are the derelict & deteriorating multi-storey car park & Sovereign House. As when dealt with either, let alone both, it will clearly have a massive impact on public access & the shops which form the ground level of both buildings & if the car park or Sovereign House are not dealt with soon, both will become even more dangerous than they currently are & that again will impact upon shoppers safety.

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    el84

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • It's a hell hole, just demolish the dump

    Report this comment

    Simon Bramley

    Monday, July 20, 2015

  • Let's hope Eric stands by his words. Might be a start for others in a similar position to him to follow suit.

    Report this comment

    dark1988

    Monday, July 20, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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