Long term improvements to retail at the Grafton Centre
Nicer shopping environment, improving retail at the Grafton for the long term
Better public space, creating a nicer place to visit, shop, work, and spend time
Keeping the existing cinema at the heart of a new leisure quarter on East Road
Saving retail at Grafton Centre
Retail will remain a significant activity in the centre, complementing and supporting the shops on Fitzroy and Burleigh Street.
The Grafton Centre has been declining for a number of years, as anchor stores like Debenhams have closed down nationally and the way people shop has changed. The number of empty shops has increased year on year.
But people do still come to the centre. We know from retail and consumer data that people who currently shop at the Grafton Centre are typically a very local audience. We aren’t looking to compete with the Grand Arcade and Lion Yard for expensive retail – we want to provide shops and cafes that offer real value and convenience for our neighbouring community.
A loop of shops and cafes will connect the retail retained at the western end of the centre to Grafton Street and Burleigh Street, creating new active frontages, retail units, and public space. The improvements to the environment here will make this a more attractive place for people to visit.
A leisure quarter around the East Road cinema
The existing cinema and gym will stay where they are in the redeveloped centre, with an improved entrance onto a new public square on East Road. Both are well-used, and we recognise their value to the local community.
Around the new public square on East Road we will introduce new restaurants at street level with opportunities for outdoor dining. A new hotel here will also bring more life to this area, helping these businesses to thrive.
Improvements will be made for pedestrians and cyclists along East Road as well, with continuous cycle paths and a wider pavement with new trees and planters.