Shopping Centres in the Midlands

From the iconic architecture of Birmingham's Bullring to the sprawling Merry Hill shopping centre near Dudley, some of the UK's largest and busiest shopping centres are found in the Midlands. Many of these retail centres have seen significant investment and redevelopment in recent years, which are helping to further establish the Midlands as a major shopping destination.

Intu Merry Hill

Opened in 1985, Intu Merry Hill is a shopping centre with some 250 stores and services, including anchor tenants Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Primark, Sainsbury's, Next, BHS and Asda. The shopping centre also features a retail park with a ten-screen cinema and the Eat Central food hall. Next to Merry Hill is The Waterfront, an office and leisure development with the offices of HM Revenue and Customs and others. The development also features a marina and several restaurants and bars.

Located in Brierley Hill near Dudley in the West Midlands, Merry Hill has seen several expansions over the years. As of August 2015, the shopping centre has a total retail floor area of 154,002 square metres or 1.593 million square feet. It also boasts more than 10,000 car parking spaces. Merry Hill is easily connected by public transport thanks to an on-site bus station, which helps make the shopping centre a major retail destination for the surrounding region.

Bullring

The Bullring attracts some 40 million shoppers each year, making it one of the busiest shopping centres in the UK. Home to markets since at least 1154, the site of the iconic shopping centre in Birmingham has been at the heart of trade in the city for centuries. Although the current shopping centre was completed in 2003, the site was home to a previous shopping centre built in the 1960s. The first Birmingham Bull Ring Centre was a mix of open-air market stalls and an indoor shopping centre, the first of its kind in a UK city centre. Plans to redevelop the Bull Ring started in the 1980s, with construction on a design by Benoy starting in 2000.

The Bullring features two main buildings that are connected by an underground passage with shops. Among the more than 140 stores and services is one of four Selfridges department stores. Clad with 15,000 shiny aluminium discs, the Selfridges at the Bullring covers an area of 25,000 square metres or 270,000 square feet. The shopping centre also houses one of the largest Debenhams in the UK. Other highlights at the Bullring include Spiceal Street, which was redeveloped in 2011 and is lined with restaurants and cafes. Several art displays are also found throughout the shopping centre, including a bronze sculpture of a running bull created by Laurence Broderick

Highcross

Highcross Leicester opened as The Shires in 1991. The centrally located shopping centre is located on Eastgates and High Street in Leicester. Many of the facades of buildings that were demolished to make way for the centre were retained, helping to create a mock-olde appearance and style. Highcross Leicester was expanded in 1994 to include a frontage along Church Gate. A further expansion and redevelopment was completed in 2008, which coincided with the renaming of the centre to Highcross Leicester. The redevelopment of included the addition of two public spaces and 120 apartments.

More than 120 shops are found in Highcross Leicester, including department stores Debenhams, House of Fraser and a Foreign Office Architects designed branch of John Lewis. There are also some 40 restaurants and cafés, as well as a 12-screen multiplex cinema and two car parks with over 3,000 spaces. The total retail floor area of the shopping centre is approximately 110,000 square metres or 1,184,040 square feet.

Intu Derby

The Intu Derby opened in 1975 and was expanded in 2007. Formerly known as The Eagle Centre and the Westfield Derby, Derbyshire's largest shopping centre was renamed in 2014 when Intu Properties purchased the complex. Next to the Intu Derby is the Eagle Market, the largest indoor market in the UK. The Derby Theatre is also found nearby. Both the Eagle Market and Derby Theatre were considered part of the centre until 2007.

There is approximately 106,130 square metres or 1,142,383 square feet of retail floor space across the Intu Derby's three floors. Some 200 shops and services call the shopping centre home, including anchor tenants Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next and Sainsbury's. The centre also boasts three car parks with spaces for more than 3,600 vehicles.

Kingfisher

Kingfisher Shopping Centre in Redditch first opened its doors in 1976. With 150 stores, the centre's anchor tenants include Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next and Primark. The shopping centre also features several restaurants and cafes, a multiplex cinema, and a bus station. In total, Kingfisher boasts approximately 100,000 square metres or 1.1 million square feet of retail floor space. There are also more than 2,800 parking spaces.

Kingfisher Shopping Centre was originally designed to be Redditch's main retail centre. One of the shopping centre's most recognisable features is its palm trees, which are found in the centre's Worcester Square. Kingfisher is also known of large mosaic panels designed by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. These mosaics are found in Milward Square. The shopping centre also had the largest indoor LED advertising screen in the UK.