Dolphin Square

Works are well underway on the £45m redevelopment of Dolphin Square, which is being brought forward by Knight Frank Investment Management (who bought it from McLaren Life Limited - a joint venture between McLaren Properties and Life Property in December 2015).

Dolphin Square new mall

The demolition of the existing buildings, which has now been completed, will make way for an exciting new 275,000sqft prime retail and leisure development at one of Weston’s key town centre locations. Photographs of the various stages of demolition can be viewed in our Dolphin Square demolition and development pdf.

The scheme will include:

A total of 6 restaurant and cafe units have been confirmed within the development. Furthermore the leisure element of the scheme includes an 1,600 seat cinema, indoor climbing wall and soft play centre, together with a budget health and fitness club.

There are a number of well known brands/occupiers who have already committed to the leisure offer including: Cineworld, Pizza Express, Nandos and Prezzo, Mimosa offering pan-Asian buffet, Costa Coffe and Brazillian Steakhouse brand Pretto.

The development will bring together the new 380 space Carlton Street car park (Phase 2) and the newly refurbished Town Hall and Library with the High Street and existing retail offer. This will combine to create a rejuvenated town centre that will act as an attraction for the existing and the expanding population of Weston super Mare retaining their spending power within the town rather than allowing the leakage of retail and leisure spend to other centres on the M5 as happens at present.

Progress to date:

Following the acquisition of the 1960’s retail and office precinct Mclaren Life has secured planning for the redevelopment in April 2011.

Phase 1

Of the regeneration plans for Dolphin Square comprised the development of the 112 bed Premier Inn hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant which is located on the Beach Road frontage of the development site facing onto the seafront. The hotel and restaurant opened in December 2012 (after taking only15 months to construct and fit out) and was sold to a private investor for in excess of £7m in advance of opening. Early trading for the hotel and restaurant has been excellent.

Phase 2

Following on from Phase 1 McLaren Life have developed the new 380 space multi storey town centre car park in Carlton Street. This was completed and opened in August 2012. This has subsequently been let to North Somerset Council on a 45 year lease. The investment has been sold to Prupim for in excess of £9.5m in December 2012.

Alastair Bell of McLaren Life said: “It is very encouraging to see major investors such Prupim together with private investors committing significant funds to Weston and we believe this demonstrates the strength of the town.“

Also undertaken as part of  phase 2 in partnership with North Somerset Council; McLaren Life forward funded the High Street (south) enhancement works which included the provision of real time car park signage around the town and the upgrading of the paving, kerbs and street furniture. These enhancement works which also included the de-cluttering of the high street have helped to rejuvenate and improve the environment in this part of town, making it a more desirable area to visit, shop and work.

Phase 3

Following securing vacant possession of the existing units (most of the previous occupiers have found alternative premises within the town centre) was completed and construction commenced in November 2015. Visit our news item dated 13 November 2015 for more details.

Funding for this phase of the development has been secured through a pension fund client of Knight Frank Investment Management, understood to be the Lancs County Council Fund. The building contract has been awarded to Exeter-based Dawnus Construction who are expected to complete the scheme in the Spring of 2017, ready for operators to fit out units.

An estimated 80 per cent of the waste created by the demolition and redevelopment work has been recycled, including:

  • The Helicopter Museum reusing ceiling and carpet tiles.
  • Somerset Wood Recycling reusing timber from the old AMF Dolphin Bowl
  • Chinese manufacturers using some of the timber to build furniture
  • Weston-based Print Factor are set to benefit from ceiling fittings
  • North Somerset Council are moving the palm trees to Clarence Park

Further information

Further information about the Dolphin Square redevelopment, including additional details of the individual phases, schematic drawings and proposed floor plans can be viewed in the Dolphin Square marketing brochure.

Photographs of the various stages of demolition can be viewed in the Dolphin Square demolition and development pdf.