The ArgusChurchill Square facelift unveiled (From The Argus)

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Churchill Square facelift unveiled

The Argus: An artist's impression of the proposed extended Churchill Square, Brighton An artist's impression of the proposed extended Churchill Square, Brighton

A major shopping centre has unveiled its most significant facelift since the 1990s.

The front of Brighton’s Churchill Square Shopping Centre would be completely revamped under new plans, along with the creation of a new flagship store.

Owners Standard Life Investments revealed the proposal, which would see floor to ceiling glass installed along the entire 100-metre Western Road facade.

Developers say that the clear laminated frontage would provide an “exciting” look and encourage retailers to “come up with imaginative shopfronts”.

At the heart of the Western Road facade would be the centre’s new flagship Topshop/Topman store.

The proposal signals the end of the centre’s commitment to a wider redevelopment of the site, which includes the Brighton Centre conference hub.

Brighton and Hove City Council has already indicated that it favours moving away from a wholesale redevelopment to improvements over a 25-year period.

Competition

The owners added that Brighton’s competition is not Crawley, Horsham, Worthing and Eastbourne but London and Southampton.

The centre, which is between Western Road and the Brighton Centre on the seafront, was opened in 1967.

It underwent a major refurbishment in the 1990s, reopening as Brighton’s prime shopping centre in 1998 with more than 90 shops on two levels, a Debenhams department store and parking for 1,600 cars.

However this saw a loss of office space which developers claim is “noticeable” to nearby buildings.

The fresh plans would see a minimal increase in actual shopping space, with the focus instead on the look of the building.

The owners have said that the centre’s current set-up “gives the impression of small retail units which do not reflect the scale and quality of the shopping behind”.

'Enhanced shopping'

Ed Jenkins, head of UK Retail for Standard Life Investments, said: “The new (Topshop) store would significantly enhance the retail offer for shoppers, adding to the existing list of leading international retailers already in Churchill Square.

“We also remain committed to exploring the concept of a significant extension to Churchill Square and to working with the council in an effort to deliver the optimum solution, over time.”

Business leaders have welcomed the news as a sign that Brighton and Hove is a major player in the retail market.

Gavin Stewart, chairman of the Brighton Business Improvement District, said: “In terms of the Brighton Improvement District, Churchill Square is in our bid area and we welcome any improvements to the city’s infrastructure.

“Brighton is a smart, classy and cosmopolitan city and any development that can enhance that is great news.”

Talking point: To what extent is the expansion of Churchill Square a sign of confidence in Brighton as a retail centre?

Share your views by commenting below.

 

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Comments (25)

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3:26pm Tue 27 Nov 12

chilliman says...

The outside of the place doesn't interest me at all - I don't stand in Western Road gazing at it whilst being choked on traffic fumes. On the rare occasions I venture inside the first thing that strikes me is the tinny "muzak" and the generally untidy, cramped, noisy and unwelcoming appearance. The shops are not interesting but seem to attract more attention than the, to me, preferable small shops elsewhere.

Is Topman/Topshop the best we can aspire to in Brighton as a flagship store?
The outside of the place doesn't interest me at all - I don't stand in Western Road gazing at it whilst being choked on traffic fumes. On the rare occasions I venture inside the first thing that strikes me is the tinny "muzak" and the generally untidy, cramped, noisy and unwelcoming appearance. The shops are not interesting but seem to attract more attention than the, to me, preferable small shops elsewhere. Is Topman/Topshop the best we can aspire to in Brighton as a flagship store? chilliman
  • Score: 1

3:35pm Tue 27 Nov 12

kennydoit says...

Is this a spot the difference competition? Is there a difference? The whole thing needs tearing down and rebuilding, not tweaking. They obviously drew this while waiting in the queue at the burger van.

And why did it take two people to write the article?
Is this a spot the difference competition? Is there a difference? The whole thing needs tearing down and rebuilding, not tweaking. They obviously drew this while waiting in the queue at the burger van. And why did it take two people to write the article? kennydoit
  • Score: 2

3:36pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Morpheus says...

Spot the difference!
Spot the difference! Morpheus
  • Score: 1

3:39pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Valerie Paynter says...

The owners of Churchill Square have complete contempt for customers.

A couple of benches east and west wings and that's yer lot. Room for LOADS of seating points. It is absolutely killing to have to go there for something you need. Cruel even.

Why arn't they required to provide nice lighting instead of that weird other-worldly glare and to change their 'keep moving along' mindset to treat potential customers with respect by allowing some seating points up near Debenham and along the very wide areas.

It is a hideous dump one only endures when something is needed that is only available in there.
The owners of Churchill Square have complete contempt for customers. A couple of benches east and west wings and that's yer lot. Room for LOADS of seating points. It is absolutely killing to have to go there for something you need. Cruel even. Why arn't they required to provide nice lighting instead of that weird other-worldly glare and to change their 'keep moving along' mindset to treat potential customers with respect by allowing some seating points up near Debenham and along the very wide areas. It is a hideous dump one only endures when something is needed that is only available in there. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 0

4:39pm Tue 27 Nov 12

damianpc says...

Can't think why they had originally intended to extend it further, as it currently has at least 2 very large empty units in it, but agree it needs a tidy frontage, the plan to have direct access to the seafront, not so sure that will ever happen.
Can't think why they had originally intended to extend it further, as it currently has at least 2 very large empty units in it, but agree it needs a tidy frontage, the plan to have direct access to the seafront, not so sure that will ever happen. damianpc
  • Score: -1

5:04pm Tue 27 Nov 12

kkj says...

How amazingly underwhelming.

I'm not sure the addition of Topmann/Topshop as the centre's flagship store is anything to be overly enthusiastic about, but what will happen to the existing shops - what units will TM/TS occupy?

Also, while its all very nice for Standard Life, what impact will it have on Western Road? TM/TS has a large unit just west of Churchill Square. Does anyone have any idea what will happen to that? Another 99p store? Sainsbury's or Tesco?
How amazingly underwhelming. I'm not sure the addition of Topmann/Topshop as the centre's flagship store is anything to be overly enthusiastic about, but what will happen to the existing shops - what units will TM/TS occupy? Also, while its all very nice for Standard Life, what impact will it have on Western Road? TM/TS has a large unit just west of Churchill Square. Does anyone have any idea what will happen to that? Another 99p store? Sainsbury's or Tesco? kkj
  • Score: -1

5:08pm Tue 27 Nov 12

JohnWMentor says...

I absolutely love Churchill Square in it's current incarnation (I'm old enough to remember the old, run-down, decrepit version that existed before!). I've got to say I was surprised there are plans to revamp it as it's not that old (to me at least!). Having said that, I do like the proposed changes. My one complaint would be the loss of the overhead canopies along the front which are good to shelter under when it rains or seagulls swoop overhead trying to poop on you.
I absolutely love Churchill Square in it's current incarnation (I'm old enough to remember the old, run-down, decrepit version that existed before!). I've got to say I was surprised there are plans to revamp it as it's not that old (to me at least!). Having said that, I do like the proposed changes. My one complaint would be the loss of the overhead canopies along the front which are good to shelter under when it rains or seagulls swoop overhead trying to poop on you. JohnWMentor
  • Score: 2

5:30pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

Hmm. My default position is to support any new development in Brighton, but being a normal human being (unlike some of the other weirdos who posted prior to me) I think Churchill Square is fine the way it is - and like Mr Mentor above I remember how dire it used to be. Also like Mr Mentor I would miss the overhead canopies.

However if they want to spend money then let them. It's only a shopping centre and there's only so much you can do to 'improve' it.
Hmm. My default position is to support any new development in Brighton, but being a normal human being (unlike some of the other weirdos who posted prior to me) I think Churchill Square is fine the way it is - and like Mr Mentor above I remember how dire it used to be. Also like Mr Mentor I would miss the overhead canopies. However if they want to spend money then let them. It's only a shopping centre and there's only so much you can do to 'improve' it. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Hove Actually says...

Thinking Horsham, Crawley, Worthing or Eastbourne are not the competition is the first mistake.

I have never woken up and though London or Brighton, I have however thought Crawley or Brighton, the addition of Lakeland was a good move but I cannot see that moving Topshop from along Western road will add to the footfall and claiming it as a flagship store ?????

Churchill Sq has always suffered by the space it is shoehorned into, even the food court is diabolical. No wonder the food outlets in front do so well
Thinking Horsham, Crawley, Worthing or Eastbourne are not the competition is the first mistake. I have never woken up and though London or Brighton, I have however thought Crawley or Brighton, the addition of Lakeland was a good move but I cannot see that moving Topshop from along Western road will add to the footfall and claiming it as a flagship store ????? Churchill Sq has always suffered by the space it is shoehorned into, even the food court is diabolical. No wonder the food outlets in front do so well Hove Actually
  • Score: 1

7:35pm Tue 27 Nov 12

mustaphaLeeko says...

Where do these complete muppets get their ideas from?

Keep the canopy, it stops people getting rained on, and for heavens sake get RID of that HORRIBLE BLUE LIGHTING inside.

It is the worse of any shopping centre I have been in, it doesn't make me want to visit the shops, it makes me want to leave, I find the light in their positively depressing!

Also how about some more seating inside, and more plants, how about some entertainment space / indoor fountain and seating in the space outside WHSmith on the lower floor that usually just has a stand selling sweets to obese children!?

It really is utter utter rubbish as it is!
Where do these complete muppets get their ideas from? Keep the canopy, it stops people getting rained on, and for heavens sake get RID of that HORRIBLE BLUE LIGHTING inside. It is the worse of any shopping centre I have been in, it doesn't make me want to visit the shops, it makes me want to leave, I find the light in their positively depressing! Also how about some more seating inside, and more plants, how about some entertainment space / indoor fountain and seating in the space outside WHSmith on the lower floor that usually just has a stand selling sweets to obese children!? It really is utter utter rubbish as it is! mustaphaLeeko
  • Score: 0

7:46pm Tue 27 Nov 12

leobrighton says...

We can only guess but it seems Topshop will go where BHS currently is. Hardly massive improvements just a slight revamp. Like Valerie Paynter above I find it a centre which I try to spend as little time as possible in often regretting going in in the first place. Like today it was overheated and is often overcrowded.
We can only guess but it seems Topshop will go where BHS currently is. Hardly massive improvements just a slight revamp. Like Valerie Paynter above I find it a centre which I try to spend as little time as possible in often regretting going in in the first place. Like today it was overheated and is often overcrowded. leobrighton
  • Score: 0

9:54pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Hove Actually says...

The only shop that I know is moving is Lego
The only shop that I know is moving is Lego Hove Actually
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Tue 27 Nov 12

pappaK says...

For starters get rid of the smelly,greasey stall by the pub,and move on the no hopers that hang around
For starters get rid of the smelly,greasey stall by the pub,and move on the no hopers that hang around pappaK
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Tue 27 Nov 12

bug eye says...

whilst the current frontage is ugly with those sails the new design is dated already, just look at the rubbish soulless buildings around boots. it would be great to see double height shops as proposed but with traditional frontage like the shops in the Laines with large wooden carved pillars and grand entrances etc in various traditional colours. could look amazing. if the brighton centre is to be refurbished only please put on a new facade and not just replace 1970s brown glass with more of the same as was done in the recent refurb. you would not believe this city was full of artists and we get this rubbish.
whilst the current frontage is ugly with those sails the new design is dated already, just look at the rubbish soulless buildings around boots. it would be great to see double height shops as proposed but with traditional frontage like the shops in the Laines with large wooden carved pillars and grand entrances etc in various traditional colours. could look amazing. if the brighton centre is to be refurbished only please put on a new facade and not just replace 1970s brown glass with more of the same as was done in the recent refurb. you would not believe this city was full of artists and we get this rubbish. bug eye
  • Score: 1

6:58am Wed 28 Nov 12

jagiwatch says...

and....what about the rest of Western Road and London Road....it all needs improvement!
and....what about the rest of Western Road and London Road....it all needs improvement! jagiwatch
  • Score: 0

6:59am Wed 28 Nov 12

jagiwatch says...

oh and George Street Hove!
oh and George Street Hove! jagiwatch
  • Score: 0

7:29am Wed 28 Nov 12

lordenglandofsussex says...

“Brighton is a smart, classy and cosmopolitan city and any development that can enhance that is great news.”

No, Brighton is a grubby, dirty, untidy, drug infested and overcrowded. Its best days are way behind it.
“Brighton is a smart, classy and cosmopolitan city and any development that can enhance that is great news.” No, Brighton is a grubby, dirty, untidy, drug infested and overcrowded. Its best days are way behind it. lordenglandofsussex
  • Score: 0

10:23am Wed 28 Nov 12

Hoarder12345444 says...

lordenglandofsussex wrote:
“Brighton is a smart, classy and cosmopolitan city and any development that can enhance that is great news.”

No, Brighton is a grubby, dirty, untidy, drug infested and overcrowded. Its best days are way behind it.
Is it? Well best you stay well clear then for your own good! You are probably the sort of toffee nosed idiot that is better off with your chums in Ditchling, looking down at everyone else.

I think Churchill Square is great, yes, its not Bluewater or Lakeside, but really nice actually and the facelift will be good. Looks nice. The old pre 1998 shopping centre was a dump, 1960's concrete jungle.
[quote][p][bold]lordenglandofsussex[/bold] wrote: “Brighton is a smart, classy and cosmopolitan city and any development that can enhance that is great news.” No, Brighton is a grubby, dirty, untidy, drug infested and overcrowded. Its best days are way behind it.[/p][/quote]Is it? Well best you stay well clear then for your own good! You are probably the sort of toffee nosed idiot that is better off with your chums in Ditchling, looking down at everyone else. I think Churchill Square is great, yes, its not Bluewater or Lakeside, but really nice actually and the facelift will be good. Looks nice. The old pre 1998 shopping centre was a dump, 1960's concrete jungle. Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 2

12:23pm Wed 28 Nov 12

cwo1993 says...

From that picture it seems the rain cover roof has gone from the front. Bit of a down-grade. Shame really.
From that picture it seems the rain cover roof has gone from the front. Bit of a down-grade. Shame really. cwo1993
  • Score: 1

4:51pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Fairfax Sakes says...

Umm...whats the difference exactly? Apart from the lack of seagull poo, foreign-exchange teenagers, and general unshorn delinquants... although it would be nice if the owners could re-engineer that element of the square.
Umm...whats the difference exactly? Apart from the lack of seagull poo, foreign-exchange teenagers, and general unshorn delinquants... although it would be nice if the owners could re-engineer that element of the square. Fairfax Sakes
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Wed 28 Nov 12

lillylou says...

I miss the old Churchill square fresh air in between shops miss that!i see lots of people fainting with the heat no space and not enough seats !!!
I miss the old Churchill square fresh air in between shops miss that!i see lots of people fainting with the heat no space and not enough seats !!! lillylou
  • Score: -1

6:34pm Wed 28 Nov 12

PorkBoat says...

lordenglandofsussex wrote:
“Brighton is a smart, classy and cosmopolitan city and any development that can enhance that is great news.”

No, Brighton is a grubby, dirty, untidy, drug infested and overcrowded. Its best days are way behind it.
They're coming to get you Lordenglandofsussex. We know what you've been up to!
[quote][p][bold]lordenglandofsussex[/bold] wrote: “Brighton is a smart, classy and cosmopolitan city and any development that can enhance that is great news.” No, Brighton is a grubby, dirty, untidy, drug infested and overcrowded. Its best days are way behind it.[/p][/quote]They're coming to get you Lordenglandofsussex. We know what you've been up to! PorkBoat
  • Score: 0

12:19am Thu 29 Nov 12

martyt says...

make no difference to most folk what they do with it as most folk can t afford to park in Brighton any more ,most now go to were the parking is free !
make no difference to most folk what they do with it as most folk can t afford to park in Brighton any more ,most now go to were the parking is free ! martyt
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Thu 29 Nov 12

ShorehamBeachcomber says...

Valerie Paynter wrote:
The owners of Churchill Square have complete contempt for customers.

A couple of benches east and west wings and that's yer lot. Room for LOADS of seating points. It is absolutely killing to have to go there for something you need. Cruel even.

Why arn't they required to provide nice lighting instead of that weird other-worldly glare and to change their 'keep moving along' mindset to treat potential customers with respect by allowing some seating points up near Debenham and along the very wide areas.

It is a hideous dump one only endures when something is needed that is only available in there.
If you go there for so little how on earth do you feel the need to sit down so much when it is quite easy to spend 2 or 3 hours on ones feet (ask your postman)
[quote][p][bold]Valerie Paynter[/bold] wrote: The owners of Churchill Square have complete contempt for customers. A couple of benches east and west wings and that's yer lot. Room for LOADS of seating points. It is absolutely killing to have to go there for something you need. Cruel even. Why arn't they required to provide nice lighting instead of that weird other-worldly glare and to change their 'keep moving along' mindset to treat potential customers with respect by allowing some seating points up near Debenham and along the very wide areas. It is a hideous dump one only endures when something is needed that is only available in there.[/p][/quote]If you go there for so little how on earth do you feel the need to sit down so much when it is quite easy to spend 2 or 3 hours on ones feet (ask your postman) ShorehamBeachcomber
  • Score: 1

5:18pm Thu 29 Nov 12

ShorehamBeachcomber says...

damianpc wrote:
Can't think why they had originally intended to extend it further, as it currently has at least 2 very large empty units in it, but agree it needs a tidy frontage, the plan to have direct access to the seafront, not so sure that will ever happen.
Both of these units habitat/virgin are being refurbished into one secret big clothes store....anyone know who?
[quote][p][bold]damianpc[/bold] wrote: Can't think why they had originally intended to extend it further, as it currently has at least 2 very large empty units in it, but agree it needs a tidy frontage, the plan to have direct access to the seafront, not so sure that will ever happen.[/p][/quote]Both of these units habitat/virgin are being refurbished into one secret big clothes store....anyone know who? ShorehamBeachcomber
  • Score: 1

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