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New leisure offer unveiled at Buttermarket

Capital & Regional and Drum Property Group have announced that a new 12-screen Empire cinema will be at the heart of the redeveloped Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich.

The commitment from Empire comes as the owners unveil their vision for the £35 million redevelopment, which will also include a new 20,000 sq ft gym, to be operated by Pure Gym, and nine new restaurants to complement the centre's retail offer. Pre marketing of the restaurant opportunity has been highly encouraging with 4 four units under legal offer to nationally recognised family dining brands. Negotiations continue on the remaining units.

Capital & Regional and Drum Property Group also announce today a raft of deals to retain the centre's premier retail brands, with New Look this week opening  a new flagship 14,000 sq ft unit fronting  Buttermarket, and TK Maxx due to relocate to a more prominent ground floor unit at the centre.

Women's fashion retailer Select have opened at the centre, occupying a 2,500 sq ft unit, alongside Boots and health food brands Grape Tree and Holland & Barrett. 

As part of the redevelopment, Capital & Regional and Drum Property Group have commenced
an extensive refurbishment of the centre's interior.

Capital & Regional, the specialist shopping centre REIT, and privately owned developer and investor Drum Property Group, acquired Buttermarket for £9.2 million in March. In June, the joint venture secured planning consent from Ipswich Borough Council to redevelop the 250,000 sq ft centre.

Hugh Scott-Barrett, CEO, Capital & Regional said:
"We are very pleased to announce that Empire has committed to Buttermarket, and see this as a key milestone as we move to realise our vision for the centre. Town centres are changing and our 'beyond retail' strategy speaks to the need for a compelling leisure and food and beverage mix alongside a diverse retail offer. These deals represent significant progress towards this aim in Ipswich, and we look forward to welcoming our new occupiers to the town in the near future." 

Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director, Drum Property Group said: "This is a transformative scheme for Ipswich, and we expect the additional footfall generated by the leisure and dining elements to have a widespread economic benefit. We would like to thank Ipswich Borough Council for their ongoing co-operation and support."

In addition to the Buttermarket, Capital & Regional owns a portfolio of in-town community shopping centres, comprising six Mall shopping centres in Blackburn, Camberley, Luton, Maidstone, Walthamstow and Wood Green, as well as and a 20% joint venture interest in the Kingfisher Centre in Redditch. These centres consist of 900 retail units and attract 1.7 million shopping visits each week.

Drum Property Group is a privately owned real estate development and investment business. Drum currently has projects under development with an end value in excess of £1 billion, in addition to owning and managing an extensive existing residential and commercial investment portfolio.

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