Morecambe’s main shopping centre will get a brand new name and fresh look with help from a world famous designer.
The Arndale Centre will be renamed ‘The Arndale, Morecambe Bay’ as part of a major redesign and rebranding led by Morecambe-born Wayne Hemingway.
Mr Hemingway, famed for setting up the Red or Dead fashion label, will mastermind a colourful redesign of the centre’s entrances, internal open spaces and external walls, and find creative uses for eyesore empty shop units both inside and out.
The design team want the Arndale to become pioneering and unique among shopping centres in the country.
Paul Wright, director of new Arndale owners NewRiver Retail, called it “an exciting reinvention of the centre”.
Arndale shoppers should start to see gradual changes before the end of 2015.
“We like challenges and this is a challenge, as a shopping centre that needs more than just a bit of TLC,” said Mr Hemingway.
He also praised NewRiver Retail as a “dynamic organisation”.
Mr Hemingway runs ‘Hemingway Design’ in London, specialising in bright and innovative building and fashion makeovers.
He also organises vintage festivals around the UK, including this coming weekend’s Vintage-by-the-Sea event in Morecambe, and appears regularly on TV as a design expert.
NewRiver Retail, the UK’s third largest owner of shopping centres, bought the Arndale in a £14m deal in 2014.
The centre has been falling into decline and suffered a major blow in April when Tesco supermarket closed its doors.
But Mr Wright said: “Since purchasing Arndale just before last Christmas we have been working away with our consultants and the council to create an exciting reinvention of the centre, as well as helping with more strategic plans to improve the town centre experience.
“We hope to create something that Morecambe Bay will be proud of and that will kick-start new
confidence for further investment.”
The Arndale’s transformation will coincide with Lancaster City Council plans to revamp a section of nearby Victoria Street, Market Street and the Euston Road precinct.
This £356,000 upgrade of the streets and spaces near the Arndale is due to begin in early 2016.
The council also has longer-term plans to spruce up New Town Square and the mosaic outside the shopping centre.
Deco Publique, a creative firm in Morecambe run by best friends Elena Gifford and Lauren Zawadzki, will join forces with NewRiver Retail and Hemingway Design on the project.
The changes will make a nod to the town’s art deco and seaside heritage.
The community will also be encouraged to get involved with art-themed regeneration projects, starting with a launch event at this weekend’s vintage festival.
The Rapid Painting Competition and Exhibition will see amateur and professional artists painting scenes of Morecambe en masse at the festival on Saturday.
The paintings will then be exhibited at the centre from Sunday for one month.
To be a part of the Rapid Painting Competition contact firstname.lastname@example.org