Some of Britain's top retail heavyweights have joined forces in a renewed revolt calling on landlords to dump their 'ancient practice' of quarterly rent payments in favour of charging a more manageable month's rent in advance.

South Derbyshire District Council has given Rokeby Developments and Peveril Securities the green light for a new retail and leisure park in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

Hercules Unit Trust, British Land's specialist retail warehouse fund, has sold its Colne Valley retail park in Watford to Igal Ahouvi for £45.075m reflecting a net initial yield of 6.59 per cent.

In the biggest investment deal of the year so far Henderson Global Investors has paid £365m for three outlet malls: Cheshire Oaks near Liverpool, the Bridgend Designer Outlet in Wales and the Swindon Designer Outlet in Wiltshire. The deal shows an initial yield of just over 7 per cent.

The Tin Hat Regeneration Partnership, comprising Wilson Bowden Developments, Ashcroft Estates and Centenary Asset Management, has been selected to deliver the £75m redevelopment of the bus station site in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Westfield has reached the psychologically important 50 per cent barrier in its leasing campaign for its £320m Bradford scheme. Retailers already committed to the scheme include Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next, River Island, Topshop/Topman, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Beaverbrooks.

Grosvenor has signed five more retailers at Liverpool One. Mango has taken a 3,454 sq ft unit on the lower level of South John Street, where it will trade alongside menswear brand Blue Inc in 3,831 sq ft and homewares retailer Lakeland, which has taken a 7,313 sq ft two-level unit on the upper level.

Capital Shopping Centres has completed the remodelling and extension of the southern end of The Glades, Bromley. The development brings an additional 50,600 sq ft of prime retail to the centre, consisting of a 30,000 sq ft MSU, let to H&M , and five other units of between 500 and 4,500 sq ft.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has honoured a key election pledge to support London's small businesses by outlining measures to ensure that more affordable small shops are provided for in new retail developments.

With hard-pressed retailers demanding large incentives to take new stores, centre owners are increasingly looking to leisure operators to generate rental growth, and new research from Savills shows that catering demand is holding up well.

For the first time a UK court has recognised the value of shopping centre brands after a landmark case brought by Land Securities, Capital Shopping Centres and Hammerson.

This year has seen a multitude of new shopping centre openings in the UK and Build-A-Bear Workshop has taken full advantage by taking stores in five of the new retail-led developments.

Centre management teams should always strive to provide clients with the best possible levels of service, both in terms of supplier selection and tendering capability - and that's why many managing agents such as DTZ employ specialist procurement consultants, such as Buying Force.

The retail lobby is ratcheting up the pressure on landlords over the time-honoured tradition of paying rent quarterly in advance. Detecting signs of weakness in a property industry ravaged by the credit crunch, they are wheeling out the big guns like Sir Philip Green and Lord Harris to push for an agreement ahead of the September quarter day.

Liverpool One is the most exciting urban regeneration project currently under way in Europe, so it's not at all surprising that Joanne Jennings was lured across the water from her role as chief executive of Belfast's City Centre Management Company to take on the job of chief executive at the new development.

Good tenant relationships in a rapidly expanding town, together with a successful marketing strategy, have all helped The Harvey Centre in Harlow to increase year-on-year footfall by 7 per cent in the first six months of 2008 - bucking the current national trend.

Security at the Elephant & Castle shopping centre in south-east London has improved in leaps and bounds over the last four years, thanks to the high level of commitment from centre manager Mike Knell and the centre's dedicated security team.

The bomb explosion at Princesshay in Exeter this May was another reminder to the shopping centre industry that retail businesses are at risk from terrorism.

Caroline Gamester from LDJ Design and Display (left) presented marketing manager Jude Leitch from The Gate in Newcastle with the SCEPTRE Award for Shopping Centre Marketing Manager of the Year.

Brian Saunders of Futur presented the SCEPTRE Award for Environmental Management to Teresa Gottschalk from The Meadows, Chelmsford.

== ? Borehamwood ==

HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS has appointed MICHAEL NEAL as director of property for its c.£1.2bn UK Retail Warehouse Fund. He joins Henderson from Goodman Property Investors where he was responsible for the fund management of Goodman's two retail park funds.

Shoppers in Birkenhead have been challenged to a series of cultural questions at Warner Estate Holdings' Grange and Pyramids shopping centre since it took delivery of a Superlambanana.

Celebs have been hitting UK shopping malls, but in two very different styles.

Fans of MI5 drama Spooks will no doubt be looking forward to the airing of spin-off series Spooks - Code9, due to start on BBC3 in August.

A team of five cyclists representing British Land's Eastgate shopping centre in Basildon, Essex have completed this year's Action Medical Research's London to Paris Bike Ride - a four-day sponsored event covering the 300-mile course timed especially to coincide with the Tour de France.

Whiteleys has seen numerous changes over the last 20 years, since the building opened as a shopping centre in 1989, not least the foodservice offer. The last year has seen the opening of Rowley Leigh's acclaimed Le Café Anglais at Level 2 of the centre, in addition to the existing offers including Yo! Sushi, Café Rouge, ASK and Bella Italia, all supporting, and supported by, the Odeon cinema.


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