CastleCourt Entertainment Hub To Replace Debenhams Store, Belfast

Over the last few years there has been a distinctive shift away from consumerism towards a desire for experiences, particularly shared experiences. This is increasingly evident on the high street.

This week Belfast’s CastleCourt have announced that the site formerly occupied by Debenhams, on Royal Avenue, is to be transformed into a leisure and hospitality entertainment zone, ready for launch in 2022.

With 80,000sq ft to play with, across the upper two floors, this family attraction will include crazy golf, laser quest, escape rooms and virtual reality experiences. The space will also feature a restaurant and a bar with a cinema screen – so there will be loads to do, day and night.

CastleCourt’s centre manager Leona Barr said the shopping complex, like the city centre, is in a transition period, with more leisure, hospitality and service-based businesses mixing through the traditional retail offer.

“Multi-channel retail, leisure and hospitality, it all goes hand-in-hand,” she said.

“Debenhams was a sad loss, but what’s happening now fits with our ambition for the centre and the area.

“There are 15,000 to 16,000 students coming, there are key developments around CastleCourt and there is residential development going on. We have to work in line with what’s going on around us and be able to offer students something to do beyond just shopping. It’s the same for families.”

The ground floor will continue to be a retail space … but they’re not ready to announce the details yet.

If you’re interested in how high streets are being transformed by leisure concepts then you might also like to read: https://socialplaylist.co.uk/high-street-solutions/

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