Westfield and Hermes open £340 million Westfield Derby

09 October 2007

Countries: United Kingdom

Westfield and Hermes will open their 340 million Westfield Derby shopping centre today – six months ahead of schedule, with 98% let and almost all stores trading.

Mr Michael Gutman, Managing Director UK/Europe, Westfield said: I would like to pay a special tribute to the dedication of the Westfield team who built this magnificent centre, to our retailers, partners and Derby stakeholders for the outstanding result that they have achieved.

We hope the people of Derby and the surrounding area will be excited by the new centre which brings to the City 100 retailers who have not traded in Derby before.

The centre will be officially opened by the Rt. Hon. John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, in the presence of Mr Frank Lowy, Chairman of Westfield and Joint Managing Directors Peter and Steven Lowy.

Also expected are Mr Stuart Rose, Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer, and Mr Rob Templeman, Chief Executive of Debenhams and Mr Simon Wolfson, Chief Executive of Next, Councillor Chris Williamson, the Leader of Derby City Council, and many other retailers and dignitaries.

Mr Gutman said: This is a landmark occasion for Westfield in the UK. The successful opening of Derby is a major step towards realising the ambition we have for the British market that will see us open Westfield London next year and Westfields Stratford City in 2011.

Over the next decade we expect that our UK assets under management will grow from 4.3 billion currently to approximately 11 billion and come to represent a large part of Westfields global operations.

City regeneration is at the heart of our business in the UK today. Currently our centres support a workforce of about 20,000; when we have completed our current development pipeline that figure will be close to 80,000.

Rupert Clarke, Chief Executive of Hermes Real Estate, comments:
Derby is our first joint venture development with Westfield and also the first of a number of major city centre, retail led regeneration projects that Hermes has under construction across the UK, with over 3 million sq ft of city centre retail space set to be delivered in 2008.

These developments are in line with our strategy of delivering enhanced risk adjusted returns for our clients by investing in high quality city centre projects.

Councillor Dave Roberts, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for Personnel, Performance Management and Economic Development, said: Our vision for Derby will transform the city into a principal retail and business destination in the East Midlands. The scheme has proved a catalyst for other regeneration projects led by Derby Cityscape and the celebrations taking place today are sure to be the start of things to come.

Chris Williamson, Leader of Derby City Council, said: We have so many attractions here and the launch of Westfield Derby is set to draw more people to the city to discover what else Derby has to offer.

Westfield and Hermes acquired the centre in 2000. In 2002 outline planning consent was awarded, followed in September 2003 by a further planning consent to enlarge the scheme. Works commenced in January 2005 and lasted 34 months to completion.

Westfield Derby in the East Midlands is the largest retail-led development to open in Britain in 2007. It represents the beginning of a major development programme by Westfield to expand in the UK market.

The centre consists of 1 million sq ft of retail, food and lifestyle space. In addition to anchors Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, and a remodeled Sainsburys, the development has 16 MSUs, a 12-outlet food court, a 12-screen Cinema de Lux that will open at Easter 2008, and parking for 3,700 cars. Westfield Derby employs 2,850 people most of whom live locally.


Notes to Editors

Westfield Derby

  • The 340 million Westfield Derby will position Derby as a principal retail destination in the East Midlands
  • Over one million sq ft (100,000 sq m) of retail, food and lifestyle space
  • Two new department stores, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, will anchor extension. A remodelled Sainsburys anchors the existing scheme
  • 16 MSUs including Next, Zara, Topshop, H&M, River Island, Monsoon, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, and Boots
  • More than 100 local, regional and national stores will provide a vibrant mix of fashion, home wares and leisure
  • A 12-outlet, 800-seat food court with additional cafs and restaurants located among the malls
  • 12-screen, 70,000 sq ft (6,500 sqm) Cinema de Lux operated by National Amusements will open Easter 2008
  • 3,700 car parking spaces directly feeding into the centre with easy access from the ring road and main arterial routes
  • Easily accessed public transport with new bus stops and bus lanes being created by Westfield and the railway within walking distance
  • 2,850 permanent jobs and 1,700 jobs during the construction phase

Westfield Derby is owned by the Wilmslow Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Westfield and Hermes Property Asset Management on behalf on the British Telecom Pension Scheme (BTPS) managed by Hermes. The Westfield Core Shopping Centre Fund Limited Partnership has a commitment to acquire a 25 per cent interest in Westfield Derby post-completion.

Westfield Group
The Westfield Group (ASX Code: WDC) is the worlds largest listed retail property group by market capitalisation. It is an internally managed, vertically integrated, shopping centre group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing in excess of 4,000 staff worldwide. It has investment interests in 119 shopping centres in four countries, with a total value of in excess of A$60 billion and is the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation.

Hermes Real Estate is responsible for some 12bn of real estate in the UK (as at 30 June 2007) on behalf of its two main segregated pension fund clients, British Telecom and Royal Mail, and the 950 million Hermes Property Unit Trust. In addition it operates specialist funds including X-Leisure, in conjunction with Capital & Regional and the UK Logistics Fund in conjunction with Legal & General. It operates across all the primary markets of retail, office and the industrial sectors. Hermes operates an integrated portfolio management and research approach to target high quality, well located properties and development sites/investment opportunities.