Cambridge’s The Grafton shopping centre, which is in the process of an £18.5m refurbishment programme, has appointed a new centre manager, John O’Shea, who has been general manager of the city’s Grand Arcade centre for the past six years.
Commenting on his new job, O’Shea said: “This is a really exciting time for The Grafton. I can’t wait to stand on Fitzroy Street with the rest of the team, looking up at the new Grafton and saying – ‘We did that’. To have the chance to help make a real difference in a city like Cambridge is an opportunity I did not want to miss.”
The ambition for The Grafton is to turn it into a shopping, dining, culture and entertainment destination. The renovation of the 500,000 sq ft centre will see improvements throughout, including the introduction of new brands, adding to existing names like Debenhams, Next and River Island, and the creation of a casual dining quarter and complementing the 10-screen Vue cinema.
“The Grafton refurbishment is due to be completed in early 2018,” said Lizzie Peters on behalf of owners LGIM Assets (Legal & General).
The refurbishment is being managed by Wrenbridge, a London and Cambridge-based developer working with architects, Corstorphine & Wright. Bidwells and Strutt & Parker are the agents for The Grafton.
New retailers are also joining in the excitement at The Grafton. Toy shop The Entertainer’s first Cambridge branch is now open.
Gary Grant, co-founder of The Entertainer, said: “We are delighted to be opening a store in The Grafton in Cambridge. The centre is very popular with families, and so are we, so it’s the perfect location for us. We’re excited about the changes that are taking place at The Grafton, and are looking forward to being part of a revitalised shopping and leisure destination that Cambridge residents will love.”
Sports clothing and equipment Decathlon is set to open in June. “We are happy to be opening a store in Cambridge this year within the Grafton Shopping Centre,” said a Decathlon spokesperson. “With the passion of cycling and sport in general being high in Cambridge, we would like to be present to accommodate and make accessible our low price but high quality products to the people of Cambridge.”
Lots to look forward to!