Sovereign Centre owner confident despite Dolphin Square progress

Sovereign Shopping Centre

Sovereign Shopping Centre - Credit: Archant

THE new owner of Weston-super-Mare’s Sovereign Shopping Centre says he is not worried by the competition from Dolphin Square.

In March this year the Mercury revealed that the 23-year-old precinct has been bought by real estate development firm Vixcroft for £30million.

Earlier this year Mr Carter revealed he had big plans for the centre – including a possible expansion and big-name shops.

However, Dolphin Square developer McLaren Life has now announced work is imminent on its £18million leisure phase, which will include restaurants Nando’s, Pizza Express and Prezzo, plus a Cineworld cinema.

Vixcroft chief executive, Dan Carter, told the Mercury this week: “We are working on improvement plans for the Sovereign Centre and have been for some months, independently of Dolphin Square. So it does not deflect us from our intentions.”

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The firm specialises in revitalising under-utilised sites and Mr Carter was critical of the lack of investment by the previous owners and said at the time that he was looking to ‘revitalise’ the mall.

In April, Mr Carter said there could be competition between Dolphin Square and the Sovereign Centre for national restaurant chains – but this was no cause for concern.

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Vixcroft has now spoken for the first time about what impact the development may have.

Mr Carter said: “I think it dissipates the town centre – but we don’t regard that as an insurmountable challenge.

“The only crossover is in restaurants but I think the more restaurants the better.”

When asked whether the development at Dolphin Square has any impact on his plans, Mr Carter said: “I think this does begin to bring things to a head and we are able to move forward against a landscape of greater certainty.”

He said it ‘is really too early to say’ whether the two sites would be rivals, but admitted he is ‘sanguine’ about the Sovereign Centre’s prospects.

Mr Carter was unable to reveal his plans in detail, but said he hopes to make an announcement by the end of January.

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