The company has confirmed that McLaren Construction has been appointed as main contractor for the 9,200m2 steel-framed extension to the centre ahead of building works commencing later this month.
The existing 17,100m2 centre, which has the world’s largest tented retail structure, was designed by the renowned architect Richard Rogers who is famous for the Lloyd’s building in London as well as The O2 Arena.
McArthurGlen first announced plans to expand the centre in 2014 and secured planning approval from Ashford Borough Council in September 2015. This will be Ashford Designer Outlet’s first extension since opening in 2000.
Peter Corr, Centre Manager at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford, said: “After four years of meticulous planning we’re incredibly excited to confirm that building works on the new extension will commence this January.
“Over the next 18 months we will be investing £90M into the centre to elevate the whole shopping experience for our guests, while also working hard to ensure our visitor experience remains memorable and enjoyable during this time.
“Once the extension is complete Ashford Designer Outlet will become one of the UK’s flagship fashion, food and homeware destinations, with over 130 stores, restaurants and cafes.”
Scheduled to open in Autumn 2019, the extension will deliver up to 50 additional premium and luxury brands, a new food piazza, 725 further parking spaces as well as a new events space and redesigned children’s play area.
The expansion will also include the installation of Europe’s largest living wall structure and many of the stores in the new phase will be clad in 10s of thousands of plants, all stacked vertically.
McArthurGlen is also providing funds for the enhancement of pedestrian and cycle routes from the station.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, added: “We are pleased to hear McArthurGlen announce its building contractor and confirm that building works will commence shortly.
“This news illustrates the confidence that major investors have in Ashford and the borough’s future. It is clear that we are gaining a growing reputation as a town attracting inward investment and high-calibre, quality brands.”