Hammersons announce delay to Brent Cross expansion due to Brexit “uncertainty”

Plans to double the size of Brent Cross Shopping Centre have been cast into doubt due to a “turbulent period in UK retail and uncertainty with the current economic outlook”. Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore said this was disastrous news for North London, and further evidence of the damage Brexit is doing to the economy.

The project had been due to start on site in the summer and complete in 2022, although this is likely to fall back to 2023. Hammerson chief executive David Atkins told the Financial Times that:

‘We think in these turbulent retail times and these question marks around the economy that we just pause for now… we will continue to support it but right now conditions are not optimal for commencing such a major capital commitment. We’ll keep that under review as we go forward.”

Mr Dismore said:

‘Due to the nightmare market conditions for retailers, the developers for Brent Cross- Hammerson and Aberdeen Standard Investments- say they need more certainty before they can commit to going ahead with the project. Brexit and the possibility of leaving the EU with no deal is a genuine fear for businesses.’

‘This delay is also a disaster for the local community, as it delays the creation of much needed jobs, and will have an impact on the rest of the huge regeneration scheme.  More immediately, given Barnet Council’s reliance on projected business rates in its future budgeting, this decision could really impact on  the Council’s solvency.’