INTU Lakeside is marking the first step of its transformation with a £9 million redevelopment of its food court into a vibrant new dining zone. The shopping centre, which attracts 25 million visitors every year, has already received outline planning consent for a 325,000 sq ft retail extension that will house 40 new stores, and is also investing in a new leisure area.
As the first stage in the transformation of the centre, the remodelled food court will see the introduction of new restaurants, some with their own seating and smaller units sharing the communal dining area. Intu is expecting to sign 13 new leases for the food court and the letting process is well underway with the first names due to be announced shortly.
Izzie Peskett, intu Lakeside’s marketing manager, said: “When we launched The Boardwalk, we really challenged the traditional preconceptions of what a shopping centre dining experience should look like and it was a great success. Now we’re doing it again with our new food court. Creativity and attention to detail have been the focus for every single physical element of the space.”
The bold and creative design will feature new high quality finishes and quirky twists such as pod seating. The dining quarter will also make clever use of technology with intelligent light fittings which recognise the time of day or night and change to suit the mood and atmosphere. These pendant lights will be suspended above custom made furniture and high-end designer chairs.
Izzie continued: “We put our customers at the heart of everything that we do. The food court refurbishment is the first step towards delivering for our customers a completely new dining experience at intu Lakeside.”
The works are scheduled to begin in late August and are expected to complete by April next year.
This project follows the recent announcement that the centre has signed 360 Champagne & Cocktails to open a flagship champagne and cocktail bar in the heart of intu Lakeside. The bar will be their largest yet, offering 120 seats and intu is undertaking substantial works to create a customised unit, providing a prominent vantage point over the shopping centre where people can ‘see and be seen’.