The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands will open in Cannock on Monday, April 12, it has been confirmed – the earliest date non-essential retailers can reopen as part of the Government’s coronavirus recovery roadmap.
Cannock Chase Council leader George Adamson and fellow cabinet members Tony Johnson and John Kraujalis enjoyed an early viewing of the grounds on March 31 however.
At a cabinet meeting on April 1, Councillor Kraujalis shared a series of photographs he had taken on the tour. He said: “It is a very clean, light and bright development and will be very attractive to people, not only from this area but all over the country. After you arrive the first place you wander through is the main square and it has an Italianesque outlook.
“If they are opening on April 12 people will have their food and drinks outside. There is a lot of space and outdoor seating for everybody and there is a fountain people can have fun with in the central square.
“There are so many clock towers – I don’t know if they want people to know what the time is constantly. Below one clock tower is the passageway through to the nature reserve.
“There is a walkway down to the nature reserve and underneath the walkway there is a children’s activity centre. It looks great and I would have liked to have fun on it but they told me I was too old.
“The view from the balcony of Mill Green is quite spectacular. MacArthurGlen have contributed sums of money to make the nature reserve better and there is a new hide and seating – it’s a very nice place to go.”
More than 80 shops and restaurants are set to open at the £160 million outlet and big name retailers announced so far include Adidas, Nike, Kurt Geiger, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss and Joules.
Councillor Kraujalis said he was looking forward to visiting burger chain Five Guys, which he learned about during his visit, and the Haribo sweet store when they open their doors.
He also highlighted the design of the toilet facilities at the shopping village, which he likened to a “departure lounge”.
Other cabinet members welcomed the prospect of the outlet finally opening to visitors after its launch was delayed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Adamson said: “It seems a long time since we started negotiations for the development and here we are.
“It’s really exciting and most importantly it brings massive investment into our district and hundreds of jobs for local people. It will bring a lot of people into Cannock Chase.”
Councillor Christine Mitchell said: “It really does look fantastic. I am sure when I tell my son in law there is a Five Guys there he will be impressed and my grandchildren will certainly enjoy the play area.”
Councillor Josh Newbury said: “I’m glad you have been exposed to Five Guys. All our millennials in Cannock – myself included – are very much looking forward to that opening.”
Councillor Christine Martin said: “It looks absolutely fantastic. It looks like it has a Mediterranean feel about it.”
Councillor Alan Pearson said: “It’s a beautiful place. Let’s hope it does what we want it to, bringing jobs into the area. My wife can’t wait to go there.”