National gym operator plans to open in Hastings’ Priory Meadow shopping centre

A national gym operator is in discussions with the owners of Priory Meadow about plans to open in the shopping centre.

Priory Meadow

The company, which has not yet been publicly named, is in the final stages of talks with New River, the owners of Priory Meadow shopping centre.

The current discussions relate to the unit directly above the current New Look store.

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New River’s asset manager for Priory Meadow Stuart Mitchell amd the director for the company’s southern portfolio, confirmed the plans in an interview with the Hastings Observer.

He said he hoped the contracts would be signed in the ‘next few weeks’, in which time he planned to publicly announce which national gym operator would be moving in.

The same operator is also discussing opening in eight other centres owned by New River, according to Mr Mitchell.

The news comes a month after Burger King announced it no longer had plans to open in the centre. It was previously listed in a planning application for a change of use to the unit formerly occupied by Topshop.

Mr Mitchell said Burger King’s decision was due to the fast food outlet prioritising out-of-town drive-thrus instead of town centre restaurants.

Mr Mitchell added: “Priory Meadow is a thriving community shopping centre that continues to serve the Hastings catchment well.

“Notwithstanding the challenging economic and political headwinds, and the growth of online, Priory Meadows continues to play an important role to the Hastings community.

“Today in the UK, £8 in every £10 spent on retail is still transacted through a physical store. And Priory Meadow is a brilliant example of this – footfall remains strong, outperforming the national benchmark, our average basket spend is £30, and the centre is well let.

“Over the past few months we have undertaken a number of lettings and upsizes that testify how popular the centre is to our shoppers and our retailers. As well as the recent upsizes of JD Sports and Grapetree, we are pleased to confirm that we are soon to introduce a new national Gym operator. More details of which we look forward to sharing in the spring.”