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Robert Hitchins Ltd has appointed Bouygues UK Ltd as main contractor to deliver the first phase of Cotswolds Designer Outlet in Tewkesbury, creating 12,635 sq m of retail and F&B space for 56 new brands in this gateway to the Cotswolds location. Construction commences in November 2023 ahead of a Spring 2025 opening.

Funded by regionally-dominant property developer Robert Hitchins, Cotswolds Designer Outlet will be delivered in two phases, and when fully complete, will create a 17,187 sq m outlet destination with over 90 high-quality fashion, lifestyle and F&B brands.

Offering a unique retail experience in an easily accessible location on Junction 9 of the M5 motorway, the design outlet will serve the significant catchment area between Bristol and Birmingham as well as tourists visiting the Cotswolds, with the historic town of Tewkesbury on its doorstep.

Cotswolds Designer Outlet sits at the heart of Robert Hitchins’ long-term vision for a significant, mixed-use development program across a 300acre site, bringing forward retail, F&B, leisure, community play areas and new homes in a strategic location. 

Key elements of this program have already been delivered, including a new, flagship 6,875 sq m Dobbies Garden center – incorporating a Waitrose Foodhall, café and restaurant – that is trading well above expectations since it opened in late 2022.  Significant infrastructure and connectivity works have also been completed to pave the way for the scheme as well as the 1,310 new homes, which are currently under construction, delivered by Persimmon, Charles Church and Barratt Homes.  

Property & Development Director at Robert Hitchins, Simon Tothill comments: “Cotswolds Designer Outlet has the potential to make a meaningful, lasting contribution to the region’s growth; the combination of a strong location, thoughtful design and a hugely positive response from leading brands, has us highly optimistic for its future success.  We’ve made significant headway in delivering our long-term vision for this location, having invested £20million in crucial infrastructure and connectivity, and completed on the fantastic, and incredibly popular, Dobbies Garden center, we are now looking forward to the next stage of the program.

“With an internationally renowned contractor now in place, we have assembled a first-rate team to bring forward our unique vision for a premium designer outlet destination and are delighted to be commencing construction.”

Bouygues UK’s Managing Director for the South West and Wales, John Boughton comments: “We can’t wait to get started on this project for Robert Hitchins, bringing both economic and social value to the area with an exciting new retail outlet and brand new facilities, set in stunning landscaped surroundings. As always, we are looking forward to involving the local community as much as possible, working with our local supply chain partners and employing a high percentage of local labor. We’ll be using innovative digital solutions including building information management (BIM) throughout the project, to ensure a high quality, efficient and collaborative delivery.”

Leading outlet retail specialist Realm is leasing the scheme and will be the asset and property managers upon completion. Dan Mason, Managing Director of Realm comments: “From the earliest stages of this project, there has been a strong focus on balancing a premium feel for the guest experience with flexibility for brands to optimize their position and offer. Outlet shopping continues to attract shoppers and tourists looking for a unique ‘full day out’, where they can combine quality and value, with an enhanced customer experience and the excitement of discovering unexpected treasures. That’s the enduring appeal of the outlet experience, and why retailers continue to incorporate outlet into their multi-channel strategies. 

Designed by architects Roberts Limbrick, the scheme’s design has been influenced by the area’s architectural surroundings and inspired by local materials to create a contemporary Cotswolds style balancing modern with traditional.