Leona Barr takes the top post at Belfast’s best-loved shopping centre and unveils six new arrivals ahead of 30th anniversary year
CastleCourt Shopping Centre today confirmed the arrival of new centre manager Leona Barr and announced six new food and retail openings for Christmas.
Located in the heart of Belfast city centre on Royal Avenue and home to more than 80 big retail and food brands, CastleCourt is also preparing to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, with further significant lettings announcements expected to be made after the New Year.
With more than 20 years of retail experience under her belt, including a decade at the helm of The Junction Retail & Leisure Park in Antrim, Leona joins CastleCourt to oversee a new period of growth and expansion.
The centre is also looking forward to one of its busiest festive seasons yet with a series of new outlet openings which includes popular home-grown retail fashion specialist SD Kells. One of Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned clothing and homeware retailers with more than 150 staff, SD Kells currently has 10 own-brand stores across Northern Ireland, including a flagship store on Bedford Street.
Childrenswear retailer Peak-A-Bleu brings its premium range of designer clothes to CastleCourt in time for Christmas as men’s fashion retailer Blue Inc returns to CastleCourt – and Northern Ireland – under a new leadership team. The centre will also benefit from a new sustainable fashion and accessories store, 4Good, which will help Oxfam raise vital funds for people in crisis.
Centre Manager, Leona Barr, said:
“CastleCourt has enjoyed almost three decades of dynamic retail success at the heart of Belfast, supporting the local economy, tourism growth and job creation and I’m delighted that on the cusp of its 30-year celebrations to be in a position to oversee a new period of growth and renewal.
“Shoppers continue to demand the best choice, quality, customer service and value and I’m committed to delivering on their expectations. I’m also excited to welcome our new tenants and to revealing some significant new additions in the New Year.”
Meanwhile, CastleCourt’s expansive food and drink provision continues to grow with the arrival of premium Japanese food specialist Mitsuru and fast-growing cult milkshake, smoothie and frozen yogurt chain Shakeaway.
Paul Wilson, Director at commercial lettings specialist Savills, the letting agent for CastleCourt, welcomed Leona’s appointment.
“The festive trading quarter remains one of the most important of the year for retailers and with new leadership, new tenants and ambitious plans for 2020, CastleCourt will continue to build on
its strengths, location and on its popularity as Northern Ireland’s best-loved shopping destination. I look forward to working closely with Leona and all the CastleCourt team in these exciting weeks and months ahead.”
CastleCourt remains home to some of the UK and Ireland’s biggest retail brands including Debenhams, New Look, Argos and Matalan and its Food Court includes leading brands O’Brien’s, KFC, Burger King and Subway. Top coffee chains Starbucks, Insomnia and Costa Coffee are also located within the centre.
Opened in 1990, CastleCourt has more than 1,600 secure car parking spaces and hosts a range of family-friendly activities throughout the year. Accessible 7 days a week, the car park is open 24 hours a day right up until Christmas.