A Burton shopping centre is set to be transformed as Next has announced it will be moving into the town's former BHS store, the Burton Mail can exclusively reveal.
The fashion retailer, which is currently located in a small two-storey unit in Coopers Square shopping centre, is set to treble in size when it relocates to the former BHS store, which will be split in two with hopes for another retailer to take on the remaining floorspace.
Next will be moving to the new 25,000 sq ft store in Underhill Walk at the shopping centre, relocating from the 8,500 sq ft unit in St Modwens Walk.
Coopers Square shopping centre is to undergo a major revamp as Next prepares to move into the former BHS store
BHS closed its doors in Burton in July after the fashion chain called in the administrators after plunging into financial trouble nationally.
Dave Chadfield, centre manager for the shopping centre, said Next will take on the large unit in June, with it expected to open to the public in September. By then, it is hoped another retailer will have been found to fill the present Next store.
He said: "The news is great. To change all that façade on the side of the building will be great and it looks fantastic. It is good for the town centre and if it looks as good as it does in the CGI image then it will be amazing."
The letting was agreed on behalf of landlord New Frontier Properties by Waypoint Asset Management, the asset manager for Coopers Square shopping centre, and agents Cushman & Wakefield and Lunson Mitchenall.
A planning application has been submitted to change the façade and subdivide the 44,500 sq ft BHS store into two units. Next is expected to open by early autumn this year.
Mike Riley, chief executive of New Frontier Properties, said: "This latest deal with Next will not only triple the size of its store in Burton but will also be the catalyst for improvement works in this area of the shopping centre. We are in discussion with retailers for the remaining 19,500 sq ft in the former BHS unit and hope to announce another deal shortly."
Alison Gurney, a director of Waypoint Asset Management, said: "The speed at which the deal with Next was concluded, soon after the BHS store closed, demonstrates Burton's growing appeal to national retailers. Next's significantly bigger store is a valuable addition to the town's fashion offer and we look forward to revealing more new lettings in the coming months."
The deal with Next closely follows the opening of Costa Coffee at Coopers Square, on the site of the former baptist chapel.