Boom time ahead as Yate Shopping Centre’s Riverside welcomes first customers

November 29 2015

YATE Shopping Centre is set for a booming Christmas as many of the new Riverside shops and restaurants continue to open.


YATE Shopping Centre is set for a booming Christmas as many of the new Riverside shops and restaurants continue to open.

It will be the first festive trading period to feature businesses at the complex – a £25 million expansion of the 50-year-old centre.

Demand to take space in the new units was strong and confidence is high that customers will support the traders as it experiences one of the busiest times of the retail year.

Meanwhile, there is also interest in vacant units in the original shopping centre site. That could see occupancy rise to a post-recession high, with vacancy levels of seven per cent falling to half the national average.

Riverside is on the former overflow car park, off Link Road, and when fully open will have as its anchor a long-awaited cinema.

The Cineworld six-screen cinema is due to show its first films in May, 2016, and has been credited with helping to bring in other businesses due to more people being attracted to the area, especially in the evening.

Andrew Lowrey, the shopping centre manager, said Riverside was a major step in the evolution of the precinct as it consolidated its position in South Gloucestershire’s retail hierarchy and helped prepare it for future housing growth in Yate.

He said: “The cinema and restaurants bring a new dimension to the centre. It has always been the owner’s and Yate Town Council’s aim to develop a sustainable night-time economy and, with these new units, the town is well prepared for the future arrival of nearly 3,000 more homes.”

The first shop to open at Riverside was Pets at Home, which welcomed its first customers three weeks ago. Italian restaurant chain Prezzo was opening as Yate and Sodbury Voice went to press, the first of six restaurants on the site.

Further openings include Frankie & Benny’s on December 1, the Next fashion store on December 10 and Nando’s on December 16. Next year will see the arrival of Dean’s Diner on April 25.

Mr Lowrey said: “We have also just seen Starbucks open in the former Burton’s unit, which had been vacant for more than three years, a temporary Christmas shop open in the former Entertainer unit and have entered into legal negotiations with two potential operators for units in North Walk. 

“There is no doubt that the cinema, restaurants and retail units have acted as a magnet in attracting other interests.”