Study aims to find positive potential of Cumbernauld Town Centre

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 17:17 on 22 January 2015.
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26-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Cumbernauld Town Centre; Picture shows Cumbernauld Town Centre, from outside North Bus Stop.
Cumbernauld Town Centre. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.
CUMBERNAULD Town Centre could see major development in the coming years, as the management of the age-old concrete mega-structure on stilts seals off part of the mall for a feasibility study.

Hamcap (Cumbernauld) LLP – the owners of the UK’s first indoor shopping mall – has confirmed that the furthest part of Forth Walk, where RS McColls is, will remain shut off until they see the opportunities that the area could deliver for the centre and for the local economy.

“The landlord is advancing the next stage of their plans for Cumbernauld Town Centre by implementing the closure of Forth Walk to facilitate investigations ahead of redevelopment,” Stephen Hill of Belgate Estates explained.

“Since the landlord acquired the centre in June 2013 plans have been considered which has resulted in this area being earmarked for the first phase of the redevelopment.”

Over the past few weeks and months, tenants in the now sealed off area of Forth Walk – which is shut off after RS McColl, have been moved to other parts of the mall so a feasibility study into the area could take place.

“In addition to occupiers with natural lease expiries e.g. the First Stop Shop, discussions had to be had with existing tenants that were in occupation who were offered new premises.  As a result of negotiations Frisco Hair and Beauty will be relocating to 11 Tay Walk beside where Mark Stevens is based and the Supporting Children shop will be rebranded within the former First Stop Shop premises,” Mr Hill told us.

Speculation has been rife that the area could soon become home to a brand new cinema complex and food court, however, management are stressing people shouldn’t get their hopes up – and that everything hinges on the potential use and associated costs with any proposals thrown up as a result of the ongoing study.

Mr Hill told us: “Both the timing and nature of the future development is going to be determined by the findings which will have an impact on costs and availability of the right type of funding to make this happen as well as market interest.

“The preference at this stage is still to progress with a leisure led scheme,” he went on to confirm.

Mr Hill, of Belgate Estates – part of the Hamcap (Cumbernauld) LLP partnership which owns the centre – suggested that the closure could and is helping to “streamline” footfall in the mall, with shoppers having only one route through the centre now.

“The closure of what will be a vacant section of mall will have the positive impact of streamlining footfall within the rest of the town centre and applies to the area immediately beyond RS McColl to the east link entrance which joins the town centre with the Antonine Centre,” he said.

“Visitors to the centre will no longer be able to access Forth Walk from the east link however the 24 hour west link access to the Antonine Centre will remain as the main through route with access to Cumbernauld Shopping Centre off of Spey Walk, via Tay Walk.  Both lift and ramp access will remain to the library, museum and Happitots nursery. 

Today’s news comes after Hamcap (Cumbernauld) LLP purchased the centre for an undisclosed amount in June 2013, after CNC Investments Ltd, the centre’s previous owners, entered administration in 2012.

Stephen added: “Since Hamcap (Cumbernauld) LLP acquired the centre, proactive management and investment has seen a number of positive improvements and new occupiers to units which had lain vacant for many years, for example where Homelink are now based and House 2 Home are due to join them.”

Mr Hill expressed concern over the future of some tenants – most notably the Post Office, who have a consultation ongoing into whether the Cumbernauld crown post office – presently in Clyde Walk should be shifted to Cumbernauld Shopping Centre.

“Unfortunately the Post Office still plan to outsource their operation and relocate to be part of a more retail focused offer however the Post Office will remain liable for all obligations at their existing premises until the end of 2029 and we would hope that support and representations for them to remain in their current location rather than have this falling vacant continues,” Stephen added.
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