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New Primark store in Pavilions wins green light

Unanimous support for major revamp of beleaguered shopping centre which has suffered a decline in trade over recent years

3D Reid Artist's impression of the new flagship Primark store seen from Moor Street station
Sketch of the new Primark store as seen from Moor Street station

Budget clothing retailer Primark has won unanimous support from Birmingham planners for its revamp of the beleaguered Pavilions shopping centre.

The company, which acquired the 263,600 sq ft centre for a rumoured £60 million in summer 2014, will carry out a wholesale regeneration that will include a brand new Primark store.

Pavilions, in High Street, has suffered a decline in trade since the Bullring opened in 2003 and faces more competition from the new Grand Central in New Street station.

Members of Birmingham City Council's planning committee voted unanimously to approve its redevelopment and they were particularly enthusiastic about the views which will greet visitors arriving at Moor Street Station and the new HS2 Curzon Street station.

The budget fashion chain will convert the Pavilions centre into a four-storey shop covering a whopping 150,000 sq ft and a pedestrian route through from Moor Street to High Street with the remaining space let to other tenants.

Committee member Peter Douglas Osborn (Con Weoley) said: "We are full of anticipation. People coming into the station will be impressed by what they see. It is like a theatre curtain opening."

Pictures: Views of new Primark from Moor Street station

He added the development should kick-start regeneration further along the High Street and revitalise that part of the city centre.

Coun Fiona Williams (Lab Hodge Hill), who chairs the city's conservation panel, said the views from historic Moor Street station were particularly striking compared to the current uninspiring back end of the Pavilions.

Architect Neil Deprez, of practice 3D Reid, said he was delighted at the response from councillors and praised Birmingham's planning department for their handling of the application.

"Primark is committed to Birmingham and will be a major presence in the retail core. This will be the largest new store in the UK," he said.

He added that the company had "exciting and innovative" plans for the store.

"Pavilions is very inward looking but Primark will be outward looking," he told the meeting.

"It is a gateway development between the Bullring, the High Street and through to the new developments around HS2 and Moor Street."

The firm has previously stated that it intends to open the store in 2018.

Existing tenants such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Three and Thorntons are expected to remain once the redevelopment is complete while Primark's existing store in New Street will close.

Staff of around 460 will transfer to the new shop which is expected to have a total of 800 employees, providing a boost to the city's job market.

Video: Model of the new Primark in Birmingham city centre

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