Home Bargains heads for East Lothian park

Home BargainsExpanding discount retail chain Home Bargains is to open a new store in East Lothian after agreeing a 12,500 sq ft pre-let on a site at Olive Bank Retail Park in Musselburgh.

A deal has been struck with the site owner and developer, Kilmac, on a 15-year lease at £13.50 per sq ft.

The facility on Newhailes Road, being developed at a cost of £2.5 million, will replace the former Madisons nightclub and will also involve a significant expansion of the current car park.

Work starts this month on the store which is expected to open in early 2016.

It is the latest boost to the retail park, which has seen an increase in tenants since Edinburgh-based IME Property took over marketing the development earlier this year.

IME was appointed by Perth-based Kilmac in March to market the development which is less than a mile from Fort Kinnaird Retail Park; one of Scotland’s largest retail developments.

Local security business A&E Controls secured a lease on unit 1 in June, while unit 3 is occupied by Dance Evolution. It means three units (5,7 and 9) remain vacant at the site providing between 2,500 sq ft and 8,500 sq ft of shell accommodation at £13 per sq ft.

The Home Bargains deal at Olive Bank Retail Park follows hard on the heels of recent figures suggesting a boom in out-of-town shopping across Scotland.

In August, footfall at Scottish retail parks jumped 8%, while the study by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) also revealed footfall in High Streets and shopping centres had dropped by 1.5%.

Ian MercerIME managing director Iain Mercer (right) believes Olive Bank provides retailers looking for affordable space on the east side of Edinburgh with a viable alternative to Fort Kinnaird.

He said “Out of town shopping in East Central Scotland continues to grow in popularity and we believe there is genuine potential for Olive Bank to become a valuable addition to the current retail offering.

“Fort Kinnaird is close by, has seen growth and enjoyed a real upturn in fortunes in the last few years but that comes at a cost. What we are offering at Olive Bank is a new and exciting opportunity for secondary retailers.”

In addition to the retail units, IME has also enjoyed success marketing the adjacent Newhailes Business Park. In August, a 1,200 sq ft letting on a 5-year deal was completed with a leading firm of health and social care specialists to join existing occupiers Insureness and Christies.

Blair Morrison, acquisitions director at Kilmac Properties, said: “We are seeing a shift in retail demand to the east of Edinburgh and to retail parks in general and are confident that will be reflected in occupiers spotting an opportunity at Olive Bank Retail Park.

“The addition of Home Bargains to an already strong line-up of occupiers demonstrate a real confidence in the location and we are excited by the potential for this location.”

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