A gym, a bakers, a coffee shop, a discount retailer, four restaurants and a phone store.
These are just some of the retail outlets you can expect to see at Shirley’s new Parkgate development.
While the project’s bosses are remaining tight-lipped about which high street names will form part of the new scheme, due to be completed next April, the Solihull News has been told the type of shops visitors can expect to see there.
The 14 contracts already secured include a fitness gym, a shoe shop and a card seller - all designed to complement the flagship Asda store. As previously revealed, the town library will also move to the site.
Other retailers being ‘targeted’ for the eight vacant spaces include a chemist, two fashion retailers, a travel agents, a jewellers and an independent cafe.
This week we met the head of Shirley Advance - the firm behind Parkgate - Robert Birch, to see how the development is shaping up.
“We’re well on track so far,” he told us. “We’re feeling good about the retailers we have already secured and the reason we cannot secure the vacant outlets yet is because we know that the type of stores we are targeting for those would not discuss moving to the scheme until closer to completion date - it’s just the way it is done.”
Mr Birch said he wanted to ‘set the record straight’ on some of the ‘rumours’ flying around the local community about the scheme.
“Any suggestions that Shirley Library is moving to Parkgate to prop us up is completely ridiculous, particularly considering that it takes up just four per cent of the retail development.”
Mr Birch also rubbished the idea they had been ‘snubbed’ by Next after planning permission was recently granted for the store to open at Sears Retail Park.
“It would have been great to have Next but they wanted to open a Next fashion and home combined store, which would have taken up the whole of the retail section at Parkgate,” he explained. “Including Asda, 80 per cent of the commercial space at Parkgate has already been filled,” Mr Birch added.
The mixed-use scheme, thought to be one of only two in the country of this size to be in progress, will also include new houses and apartments.
Highway works are expected to be completed by the end of this November.