What next for the Bargate Centre?

Daily Echo: The Bargate Shopping Centre The Bargate Shopping Centre

IT was supposed to be the gleaming answer to transforming a neglected and dilapidated corner of Southampton.

But a quarter of a century after it was built, the Bargate Shopping Centre is now at risk of becoming as much of a blot as the run-down buildings it replaced.

As revealed by the Daily Echo, the firm trying to sell the beleaguered complex on behalf of receivers has told tenants to quit the site in a bid to stem huge losses it is running up.

With the news that leading DVD rental chain Blockbuster has followed the likes of HMV, Jessops, Comet and Woolworths in calling in the administrators, it has raised fears for the future of retail on the high street – and with it the prospect of shops ever returning to the Bargate Centre.

Suggestions have been made that the three-storey complex could be converted to other uses, but council bosses and those selling the site remain confident it can continue as a retail destination.

Plans to develop the neglected former Cooper’s Brewery site, along with neighbouring York Buildings, into a new shopping centre were first mooted in 1984.

But by the time it opened five years later, the first signs of problems at the Bargate Centre were already appearing, after delays to the project and the scrapping of an ambitious second phase of the scheme, which would have seen it extend covered shopping onto Queensway.

As early as 1990, just a few months after opening, storekeepers were moaning about a shortage of shops and shoppers at the complex.

In 1996, church leaders reacted with horror to a saucy Christmas grotto at the centre, which featured scantily-clad Santas handing out sex toys as gifts.

And there was further controversy a year later, when bosses at the centre found themselves at the centre of an “ageism” row after an advertising poster campaign featured the warning: “If you’re too old, you’re not coming in.”

But it was not all bad news, as by 2000 many more shops had been successfully let, with the middle level completely full at one stage.

However, as the notices to quit were sent to tenants, there were just 11 units occupied – and some of those were being used rent-free.

The chief executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Jimmy Chestnutt said he believes the Bargate Centre could have uses away from retail.

He said: “This is clearly not good news, although perhaps not altogether unexpected given the retail climate at the moment, but nevertheless devastating for the companies that are trading out of Bargate and we would hope they will be able to relocate quickly.

“We hope the receivers manage to find a buyer who will restore that area to some degree of prosperity.

“The businesses themselves are clearly not the problem and not in trouble, it’s the centre itself, so it's not necessarily doom and gloom.

“The site itself may find a new lease of life in an entirely new direction It is very close to the civic centre and the cultural quarter, and there may well be other areas to which it is well suited.”

One Daily Echo reader has raised the prospect of the Bargate Centre being the “ideal place” to house the city’s maritime and aviation museum, Aeronautica.

It had been hoped the £8m attraction would be housed at the Trafalgar dock as part of the redevelopment of the entire waterfront.

But that site has now been earmarked for a relocated Red Funnel Ferry terminal that would have to be relocated under plans for the Royal Pier.

However, Arthur Jeffery, the acting chairman of the City of Southampton Society, said he believes the Bargate Centre is best left as shops, albeit with improved access to Hoglands Park and the council’s plans to link the Bargate itself with the remaining medieval walls.

But whatever happens, he said the society is keen to keep the building formerly used by Jongleurs, as an example of art nouveau architecture.

Mr Jeffery said: “Jongleurs is a very typical 1930s building and we are keen to keep that. It was the Red Cross centre for the American troops in the war, and I think any new development should incorporate that.

“It’s got to be financially stable, so retail is the most obvious solution.

“It’s still the sensible thing to do, but with access to the walls. It’s a balance between heritage and retail and they could go hand in hand if dealt with sensitively.”

Southampton City Council leader Richard Williams said he too believes the site should remain as retail, and said he hopes the site could benefit from a successful bid for a share of £1.5billion through the Government’s City Deal scheme.

He said: “It certainly is a strategic site in the city centre.

“With the problems we’ve seen with Jessops and HMV there’s obviously a serious crisis on the high street, and that is replicated with the Bargate situation.

“We’ll be looking at the other options but retail is certainly our preferred solution, because to lose that would be a real tragedy.

“We want to look through other options we’ve got through City Deal. There’s a core package which is given to all successful bidders, and there’s the bespoke bit, which is certainly worth exploring.

“I will be talking to (Local Government Minister) Mark Prisk on Monday, and I will discuss it with his civil servants.

“This is the sort of thing that could go into a bespoke element of our stalled sites proposal and that may be a way forward for responding to the challenges the Bargate gives us.”

Comments (24)

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3:29pm Sat 19 Jan 13

-stiv- says...

I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap.
I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap. -stiv-
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Sat 19 Jan 13

-stiv- says...

The kind of thing you see in Camden Town or Brick Lane. It'll get people in, surely. I thing the days of expecting big rents off big retail firms are over.
The kind of thing you see in Camden Town or Brick Lane. It'll get people in, surely. I thing the days of expecting big rents off big retail firms are over. -stiv-
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Sat 19 Jan 13

kingnotail says...

Like Camden Town or Brick Lane? Great idea but good luck getting that past the locals, who are still stuck somewhere around 1975..
Like Camden Town or Brick Lane? Great idea but good luck getting that past the locals, who are still stuck somewhere around 1975.. kingnotail
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Sat 19 Jan 13

jen1 says...

An indoor market is a great idea. Does anyone remember the people mover that the council was desperate to build about 25 years ago?

As I recall it was to be a monorail, going between the bargate, town quay and ocean village. I wonder how much money was wasted on that failed project and what would have happened if it had gone ahead.
An indoor market is a great idea. Does anyone remember the people mover that the council was desperate to build about 25 years ago? As I recall it was to be a monorail, going between the bargate, town quay and ocean village. I wonder how much money was wasted on that failed project and what would have happened if it had gone ahead. jen1
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Sat 19 Jan 13

joenice1 says...

"Plans to develop the neglected former Cooper’s Brewery site"


How about restore it back into a brewery!!!! I'm loving my real ales atm.
"Plans to develop the neglected former Cooper’s Brewery site" How about restore it back into a brewery!!!! I'm loving my real ales atm. joenice1
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Mr Price says...

INDOOR MARKET WOULD BE IDEAL IF THE RENTS WERE LOW ENOUGH.
INDOOR MARKET WOULD BE IDEAL IF THE RENTS WERE LOW ENOUGH. Mr Price
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Sat 19 Jan 13

loosehead says...

kingnotail wrote:
Like Camden Town or Brick Lane? Great idea but good luck getting that past the locals, who are still stuck somewhere around 1975..
Read my post in the last article about the Bargate centre! I said put in the street market inside it as I've seen here & in Thailand so sorry the locals would love it
[quote][p][bold]kingnotail[/bold] wrote: Like Camden Town or Brick Lane? Great idea but good luck getting that past the locals, who are still stuck somewhere around 1975..[/p][/quote]Read my post in the last article about the Bargate centre! I said put in the street market inside it as I've seen here & in Thailand so sorry the locals would love it loosehead
  • Score: 0

6:44pm Sat 19 Jan 13

IronLady2010 says...

When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically.

Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda.
When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically. Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Sat 19 Jan 13

shabbycaddy says...

Indoor market is definitely the way forward for this place, the shops arn't massive inside and would suit fresh meat stalls, fruit and veg etc. As previous people have said you see these kind of markets all around the country and southampton is lacking it. It would tie in very well with the new morrisons as people could mix and match their shopping. I wouldn't be supprised though that the present owners bought it originally to knock it down and build flats but that doesn't look to great now! By the way what happened to the clock hands, they went years ago, and all those crazy neon lights inside on the ceilings. Also sega park can't go, it needs to be listed!
Indoor market is definitely the way forward for this place, the shops arn't massive inside and would suit fresh meat stalls, fruit and veg etc. As previous people have said you see these kind of markets all around the country and southampton is lacking it. It would tie in very well with the new morrisons as people could mix and match their shopping. I wouldn't be supprised though that the present owners bought it originally to knock it down and build flats but that doesn't look to great now! By the way what happened to the clock hands, they went years ago, and all those crazy neon lights inside on the ceilings. Also sega park can't go, it needs to be listed! shabbycaddy
  • Score: 0

7:41pm Sat 19 Jan 13

shirley-bill says...

-stiv- wrote:
I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap.
i have been to china and this is what they have done , it works great . Low rents lots of people buying items.
[quote][p][bold]-stiv-[/bold] wrote: I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap.[/p][/quote]i have been to china and this is what they have done , it works great . Low rents lots of people buying items. shirley-bill
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Sat 19 Jan 13

loosehead says...

shabbycaddy wrote:
Indoor market is definitely the way forward for this place, the shops arn't massive inside and would suit fresh meat stalls, fruit and veg etc. As previous people have said you see these kind of markets all around the country and southampton is lacking it. It would tie in very well with the new morrisons as people could mix and match their shopping. I wouldn't be supprised though that the present owners bought it originally to knock it down and build flats but that doesn't look to great now! By the way what happened to the clock hands, they went years ago, and all those crazy neon lights inside on the ceilings. Also sega park can't go, it needs to be listed!
Here's an idea, the Tory Council proposed building a new Fruit & vegetable market well here's an ideal site with out knocking down buildings this could be a very cheap alternative site.
as I've said previously this could be one level Fruit & veg another could be meat & fish all under one roof with other stalls selling various products thrown in.
Not tesco's or any supermarket but as in London & most big cities an indoor market exactly what the Kingsland stalls wanted.
I for one would love it but will our council be able to convince the management company to go down this route?
[quote][p][bold]shabbycaddy[/bold] wrote: Indoor market is definitely the way forward for this place, the shops arn't massive inside and would suit fresh meat stalls, fruit and veg etc. As previous people have said you see these kind of markets all around the country and southampton is lacking it. It would tie in very well with the new morrisons as people could mix and match their shopping. I wouldn't be supprised though that the present owners bought it originally to knock it down and build flats but that doesn't look to great now! By the way what happened to the clock hands, they went years ago, and all those crazy neon lights inside on the ceilings. Also sega park can't go, it needs to be listed![/p][/quote]Here's an idea, the Tory Council proposed building a new Fruit & vegetable market well here's an ideal site with out knocking down buildings this could be a very cheap alternative site. as I've said previously this could be one level Fruit & veg another could be meat & fish all under one roof with other stalls selling various products thrown in. Not tesco's or any supermarket but as in London & most big cities an indoor market exactly what the Kingsland stalls wanted. I for one would love it but will our council be able to convince the management company to go down this route? loosehead
  • Score: 0

10:47pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Linesman says...

We are often told not to put all our eggs in one basket.

Southampton City Council has, over the years, put all its eggs in one basket, that basket being West Quay.

When you have virtually everything under one roof there, is it any wonder that Above Bar has empty shops, and the Bargate Centre is now teetering on the brink?
We are often told not to put all our eggs in one basket. Southampton City Council has, over the years, put all its eggs in one basket, that basket being West Quay. When you have virtually everything under one roof there, is it any wonder that Above Bar has empty shops, and the Bargate Centre is now teetering on the brink? Linesman
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Sat 19 Jan 13

WoolstonSean says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically. Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda.
With all due respect the new Morrisons supermarket is being built in the former East St Centre so how will footfall rise dramatically at a revamped Bargate Centre?
As with most supermarket shoppers they will park their car at the supermarket car park in this case above the 'new' supermarket do their shoping then return to their car and go home.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically. Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda.[/p][/quote]With all due respect the new Morrisons supermarket is being built in the former East St Centre so how will footfall rise dramatically at a revamped Bargate Centre? As with most supermarket shoppers they will park their car at the supermarket car park in this case above the 'new' supermarket do their shoping then return to their car and go home. WoolstonSean
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Sat 19 Jan 13

IronLady2010 says...

WoolstonSean wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically. Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda.
With all due respect the new Morrisons supermarket is being built in the former East St Centre so how will footfall rise dramatically at a revamped Bargate Centre?
As with most supermarket shoppers they will park their car at the supermarket car park in this case above the 'new' supermarket do their shoping then return to their car and go home.
Asda is a good example, watch how many people walk out of Asda doors into the Marlands.

I live in the City, if I do a big shop, I go to Asda Chandlers Ford. For day to day I go into City.
[quote][p][bold]WoolstonSean[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically. Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda.[/p][/quote]With all due respect the new Morrisons supermarket is being built in the former East St Centre so how will footfall rise dramatically at a revamped Bargate Centre? As with most supermarket shoppers they will park their car at the supermarket car park in this case above the 'new' supermarket do their shoping then return to their car and go home.[/p][/quote]Asda is a good example, watch how many people walk out of Asda doors into the Marlands. I live in the City, if I do a big shop, I go to Asda Chandlers Ford. For day to day I go into City. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

11:02pm Sat 19 Jan 13

IronLady2010 says...

The new supermarket will increase footfall big time. Wether that be people going for lunch sandwiches, doing a quick shop for evening food etc.

Bargate can only gain from this.
The new supermarket will increase footfall big time. Wether that be people going for lunch sandwiches, doing a quick shop for evening food etc. Bargate can only gain from this. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

11:04pm Sat 19 Jan 13

southampton999 says...

shirley-bill wrote:
-stiv- wrote:
I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap.
i have been to china and this is what they have done , it works great . Low rents lots of people buying items.
Yes and all they sell are fake items, of course they are successful when you sell a Mulberry handbag for £50 when the real item is £800.00. Not a good model for the UK I am afraid. I spend a lot of time in Shanghai!!
[quote][p][bold]shirley-bill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]-stiv-[/bold] wrote: I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap.[/p][/quote]i have been to china and this is what they have done , it works great . Low rents lots of people buying items.[/p][/quote]Yes and all they sell are fake items, of course they are successful when you sell a Mulberry handbag for £50 when the real item is £800.00. Not a good model for the UK I am afraid. I spend a lot of time in Shanghai!! southampton999
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Pikey-Biker says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
WoolstonSean wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote: When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically. Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda.
With all due respect the new Morrisons supermarket is being built in the former East St Centre so how will footfall rise dramatically at a revamped Bargate Centre? As with most supermarket shoppers they will park their car at the supermarket car park in this case above the 'new' supermarket do their shoping then return to their car and go home.
Asda is a good example, watch how many people walk out of Asda doors into the Marlands. I live in the City, if I do a big shop, I go to Asda Chandlers Ford. For day to day I go into City.
The Marlands might have a lot of people walking into it from Asda, but most just walk on through, especially if they have bags of groceries. The Bargate will remain a white elephant unless it can used as a leisure facility or attract a major retail company like Debenhams
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WoolstonSean[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: When the new supermarket opens Bargate would see their footfall rise dramatically. Look at Marlands, the only reason people walk through it is to get to and from Asda.[/p][/quote]With all due respect the new Morrisons supermarket is being built in the former East St Centre so how will footfall rise dramatically at a revamped Bargate Centre? As with most supermarket shoppers they will park their car at the supermarket car park in this case above the 'new' supermarket do their shoping then return to their car and go home.[/p][/quote]Asda is a good example, watch how many people walk out of Asda doors into the Marlands. I live in the City, if I do a big shop, I go to Asda Chandlers Ford. For day to day I go into City.[/p][/quote]The Marlands might have a lot of people walking into it from Asda, but most just walk on through, especially if they have bags of groceries. The Bargate will remain a white elephant unless it can used as a leisure facility or attract a major retail company like Debenhams Pikey-Biker
  • Score: 0

1:17am Sun 20 Jan 13

MrBrightside85 says...

Last I heard the Bargate Centre was to become a huge new Debenhams, although with the recent renovation in the current store I'm guessing this was abandoned?
Last I heard the Bargate Centre was to become a huge new Debenhams, although with the recent renovation in the current store I'm guessing this was abandoned? MrBrightside85
  • Score: 0

8:31am Sun 20 Jan 13

loosehead says...

southampton999 wrote:
shirley-bill wrote:
-stiv- wrote:
I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap.
i have been to china and this is what they have done , it works great . Low rents lots of people buying items.
Yes and all they sell are fake items, of course they are successful when you sell a Mulberry handbag for £50 when the real item is £800.00. Not a good model for the UK I am afraid. I spend a lot of time in Shanghai!!
In Thailand a lot of the goods are sold on stores are not good enough products made by the proper company but aren't up to the quality standards they set so instead of trashing them they sell them in an indoor market?
Fruit & Veg & meat & Fish with a few others chucked in.
more shoppers than the outdoor market as the shoppers won't get wet
[quote][p][bold]southampton999[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]shirley-bill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]-stiv-[/bold] wrote: I hope it gets used for a covered market. Just let traders open up stalls inside for cheap.[/p][/quote]i have been to china and this is what they have done , it works great . Low rents lots of people buying items.[/p][/quote]Yes and all they sell are fake items, of course they are successful when you sell a Mulberry handbag for £50 when the real item is £800.00. Not a good model for the UK I am afraid. I spend a lot of time in Shanghai!![/p][/quote]In Thailand a lot of the goods are sold on stores are not good enough products made by the proper company but aren't up to the quality standards they set so instead of trashing them they sell them in an indoor market? Fruit & Veg & meat & Fish with a few others chucked in. more shoppers than the outdoor market as the shoppers won't get wet loosehead
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Sun 20 Jan 13

nemesis85 says...

i think they should use it like the old ocean village center. have arcades, restaraunts, live bands, market stalls, art gallary's, small historic museums, live talent shows, and a bingo hall, etc somthing for every one. we need somthing so that we can mix the old and young people together, we dont need no more retail shops we need entertainment somthing we lost years ago.
i think they should use it like the old ocean village center. have arcades, restaraunts, live bands, market stalls, art gallary's, small historic museums, live talent shows, and a bingo hall, etc somthing for every one. we need somthing so that we can mix the old and young people together, we dont need no more retail shops we need entertainment somthing we lost years ago. nemesis85
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Sun 20 Jan 13

jazzi says...

I think it would be fantastic if it was turned into an indoor fairground , with bingo and cafes, and play centre.
There is one in london that does very well, has a few gaming shops. Good place to chill out in before or after shopping.
I think it would be fantastic if it was turned into an indoor fairground , with bingo and cafes, and play centre. There is one in london that does very well, has a few gaming shops. Good place to chill out in before or after shopping. jazzi
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Sun 20 Jan 13

loosehead says...

jazzi wrote:
I think it would be fantastic if it was turned into an indoor fairground , with bingo and cafes, and play centre.
There is one in london that does very well, has a few gaming shops. Good place to chill out in before or after shopping.
never happen the company will want to make money & a lot more than those things will bring in
[quote][p][bold]jazzi[/bold] wrote: I think it would be fantastic if it was turned into an indoor fairground , with bingo and cafes, and play centre. There is one in london that does very well, has a few gaming shops. Good place to chill out in before or after shopping.[/p][/quote]never happen the company will want to make money & a lot more than those things will bring in loosehead
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Sun 20 Jan 13

kingnotail says...

nemesis85 wrote:
i think they should use it like the old ocean village center. have arcades, restaraunts, live bands, market stalls, art gallary's, small historic museums, live talent shows, and a bingo hall, etc somthing for every one. we need somthing so that we can mix the old and young people together, we dont need no more retail shops we need entertainment somthing we lost years ago.
Southampton needs more of everything it can possibly get. The range of shops here is hardly mind-blowing, while as you rightly point out entertainment is effectively non-existent.
[quote][p][bold]nemesis85[/bold] wrote: i think they should use it like the old ocean village center. have arcades, restaraunts, live bands, market stalls, art gallary's, small historic museums, live talent shows, and a bingo hall, etc somthing for every one. we need somthing so that we can mix the old and young people together, we dont need no more retail shops we need entertainment somthing we lost years ago.[/p][/quote]Southampton needs more of everything it can possibly get. The range of shops here is hardly mind-blowing, while as you rightly point out entertainment is effectively non-existent. kingnotail
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Sun 20 Jan 13

loosehead says...

nemesis85 wrote:
i think they should use it like the old ocean village center. have arcades, restaraunts, live bands, market stalls, art gallary's, small historic museums, live talent shows, and a bingo hall, etc somthing for every one. we need somthing so that we can mix the old and young people together, we dont need no more retail shops we need entertainment somthing we lost years ago.
i loved going to Ocean Village & I agree with what you say but I can't see the management company running this going for it.
I think that what happened down at ocean village was a travesty.
We could have had many of the things you suggested I remember the Delta Belle doing a Jazz week with live bands.
I also remember going up stairs where they had bands as well & all ages ( over 18) could go & mix together with no trouble.
Why they changed it then changed it again was totally wrong & as a Tory I was against my council allowing the destruction of this potentially great leisure area.
but it's not just my party as it seems to be if you offer to build flats all parties will move heathen & hell to let you do it?
there's no point having all these people in the city if you've knocked down all the leisure facilities.
I think williams was totally wrong stopping the building of the Snow Dome
[quote][p][bold]nemesis85[/bold] wrote: i think they should use it like the old ocean village center. have arcades, restaraunts, live bands, market stalls, art gallary's, small historic museums, live talent shows, and a bingo hall, etc somthing for every one. we need somthing so that we can mix the old and young people together, we dont need no more retail shops we need entertainment somthing we lost years ago.[/p][/quote]i loved going to Ocean Village & I agree with what you say but I can't see the management company running this going for it. I think that what happened down at ocean village was a travesty. We could have had many of the things you suggested I remember the Delta Belle doing a Jazz week with live bands. I also remember going up stairs where they had bands as well & all ages ( over 18) could go & mix together with no trouble. Why they changed it then changed it again was totally wrong & as a Tory I was against my council allowing the destruction of this potentially great leisure area. but it's not just my party as it seems to be if you offer to build flats all parties will move heathen & hell to let you do it? there's no point having all these people in the city if you've knocked down all the leisure facilities. I think williams was totally wrong stopping the building of the Snow Dome loosehead
  • Score: 1

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