Essential Projects has provided the structural metalwork required to install a steel staircase within the new Next retail store which is being opened as part of an £85m project to expand the Arndale Centre in Eastbourne.The shopping centre’s £85m expansion is being funded by owners, Legal & General and involves the construction of a three-storey extension in order to provide 175,000 sq ft of additional space for retailers and leisure operators.
The additional space will create room for a further 25 shops, seven restaurants, and an eight-screen Cineworld cinema which will be located on the roof. The centre already boasts high street names such as H & M, FatFace, New Look, Nando’s, Carluccio’s, Wagamama, Byron, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny’s and Ask Italian.
Next Plc leased one of the new units after it was agreed their old store on site would be demolished as part of the redevelopment. The new store now covers two stories and is 60% bigger than the old store.
The overall main contractor on the project is Kier Construction, and Hawthorne Shopfitters has been contracted to provide store fit-out services. As part of the fit out of the Next Plc store, Essential Projects was sub-contracted by Hawthorne Shopfitters to manufacture, supply and install, a back of house steel staircase, as well as provide the structural steelwork required for the shop front and to support the mezzanine floor on the upper story.
In keeping with Next brand guidelines, the metalwork for the bespoke straight, three flight steel staircase was fabricated in-house by Essential Projects and shipped to Eastbourne where it was installed by our experienced site team.
The back of house galvanised steel staircase will provide customers and staff with an alternative fire exit route in the case of emergency, as well as provide Next staff with access from the ground floor store room to the 1stfloor shopping area. A handrail was also installed to one side of the staircase to ensure the safety of users.
A further 26 metres of structural steelwork was manufactured and supplied to site where it was used to support the installation of the glass balustrade surrounding the perimeter of the atrium. In addition, bespoke steelwork was supplied to support acoustic panels which were installed in the roof space to reduce the noise impact on local residents from mechanical equipment such as heating and ventilations systems.
Commenting on behalf of Essential Projects, Managing Director Eliot Saxton said “It is a privilege to work on a scheme of this magnitude. Having worked on a number of new build and store refurbishments within Next stores across the UK we fully understand their ethos and brand values. It is this understanding of our clients’ needs and our willingness to work collaboratively on site with other contractors which has led to our appointment on successive projects involving Next and other leading UK retailers.”