Belfast | Northern Ireland,

New lettings secure nearly 30 jobs at Newtownabbey retail park

Aberdeen Standard Investments, owner of Longwood Retail Park at Newtownabbey, has announced a number of new retail lettings resulting in the creation of up to 30 new jobs for the local area.

Arts and crafts superstore retailer Hobbycraft is set to create 18 jobs following the opening of its first store on the island of Ireland in late October, in a unit extending to 10,760 sq ft.

Hobbycraft, which has approximately 95 stores across the UK, opened its first store in Dorset, England in 1995 and now employs around 2,200 people.

Furthermore, local furniture retailer HouseProud has signed a lease on the former Mothercare unit and is anticipated to open in mid-November, creating ten jobs. HouseProud already has nine outlets across Northern Ireland and this will be a significant addition to its portfolio.

Commercial property agencies CBRE and Morgan Williams acted as joint letting agents on behalf of the landlord Aberdeen Standard Investments. Avison Young represented Hobbycraft and GVA represented HouseProud.

Colin Mathewson, Senior Director at CBRE, commented: “We are thrilled that Hobbycraft and HouseProud have chosen Longwood Retail Park, Newtownabbey for their new store openings.

“They join an excellent existing tenant line-up that includes Matalan, TK Maxx, DW Sports, Homebase and Home Bargains amongst others.

“The edge of centre retail market across Northern Ireland remains in good health with very limited vacancy and demand from occupiers in most locations. Longwood Retail Park is now fully let and an announcement regarding the new occupier at the former Poundworld unit is expected soon.”

Haseeb Hassan of Aberdeen Standard Investments said: “Longwood Retail Park is our key investment in Northern Ireland and continues to perform strongly, and it is fantastic to see occupiers securing units on the park and investing in their new stores.

“In particular the decision from Hobbycraft to open its first Irish store at Longwood speaks volumes for the location and its position within the Northern Ireland retail hierarchy.”

Brian Matthews of House Proud added: “We are delighted to announce the opening of our latest HouseProud superstore. Customer demand for HouseProud quality and value is increasing year-on-year and Longwood Retail Park is the ideal venue for us to add to our portfolio of stores.”