Land Securities has announced that its plans for an approx. €125 million (£90 million) retail expansion of Livingston town center have been given the final go-ahead by West Lothian Council. Over 350,000 ft² of new retail and an additional 25,000 ft² of leisure and catering space will be developed. The scheme will link the existing Almondvale Centre and the McArthur Glen shopping malls in Livingston.
The proposals center on a dramatic new two-story building, featuring a magnificent transparent arched roof, emulating landmark buildings such as the Eden Project in Cornwall. Internally, the plans show an impressive new shopping 'avenue' anchored by a major department store, which has already been pre-let to Debenhams. The additional retail space will attract new outlets to the town, combining a unique contrast of high street names, designer brands and independent boutiques. The shopping element will be integrated with stylish and lively restaurants, cafes and bars. Externally, wide walkways, new civic spaces and open terraces will be introduced to create a bright, welcoming environment for shoppers and provide new facilities for the local community.
The plans also provide 28 one and two-bedroom flats, including affordable housing, an 84-bed hotel, and a new multi-story decked car park (1,523 spaces over four levels) to be built on the site of the former bus station.
Award-winning urban design firm Building Design Partnership (BDP) has been retained as project architect. Miller Construction has been appointed as main contractor for the scheme which is expected to start on site in Spring next year. Completion is expected in winter 2008.
Dominic O'Rourke, development manager for Land Securities, said: "The new development will create a striking architectural focal point at the heart of the town center. The community will benefit through the upgrading of existing facilities and the introduction of new facilities such as new civic areas with dedicated space for events, exhibitions or concerts. The integration of retail with leisure, cafes, bars and restaurants will bring life and vibrancy to the town centre out side normal shopping hours."
Convener of West Lothian Council's Enterprise and Development Committee, Councillor Willie Dunn, said: "These new plans will bring major benefits to Livingston town center, making it even more attractive to shoppers, businesses and visitors. The new development will link the existing centers at Almondvale in an exciting and innovative way, which will considerably increase the shopping choice available to visitors and local people. It will add a dynamic dimension to the existing Almondvale Centre in Livingston.
Source: Land Securities