Quarter of units at Dolphin Square left without tenants despite 'good trading'

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 May 2018

Dolphin Square.

Dolphin Square.

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Businesses at Weston-super-Mare's new-look Dolphin Square are reporting good sales, but one of its key tenants has collapsed leaving a large unit unoccupied.

Mimosa will not open for business in the town after being liquidated, leaving almost a third of the leisure hub’s units empty.

The pan-Asian buffet restaurant was due to occupy a large corner unit on Carlton Street, but the business went into receivership leaving four of the leisure hub’s 14 units available to let.

Despite the collapse of Mimosa, McLaren Life managing director Simon Berry told the Mercury he is ‘very pleased’ with how the project has come together.

He said: “Many of the operators have reported good sales from the early months of trading, despite being the quieter time of the year and the project not fully open.

“This bodes well for the continued success of those operators and the others to follow.”

The former shopping complex has undergone a £45million revamp, led by McLaren Life, which includes an eight-screen Cineworld cinema and a range of popular chain restaurants such as Nando’s.

The first restaurants opened in the autumn, with two more – Loco Mexicano and Preto – still to welcome customers.

The Mexican restaurant is in the process of fitting out and will open ‘in the coming weeks’ according to Mr Berry, and South American eatery Preto will begin fitting out after Loco Mexicano opens.

Town centre manager Steve Townsend echoed Mr Berry’s satisfaction with the opening of Dolphin Square.

He said: “All the businesses we have met at Dolphin Square are reporting good things. We are still in the process of doing our business visits.

“The restaurants always seem to be busy and the cinema, I understand, is achieving what it wants to in terms of numbers.

“I think it’s all going in the right direction. The businesses and consumers seem happy with how it’s going; we just need Homes England to get on with the next phase of the project.”

Homes England, the Government’s house-building department, is overseeing phase four of the development, which will see more than 100 flats built next to the leisure hub. The area was initially expected to house shops but a lack of retail demand saw a U-turn made.

A planning application was due to be submitted before Christmas, but blueprints are yet to be revealed.

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