First phase of £40m Fenwick flagship investment to begin

Planning has now been received for the first phase of renovation at Fenwick’s flagship store in Newcastle, with work set to begin in March.

Mailen Design has been commissioned to sensitively reimagine the original store frontage of the 1880’s flagship store of UK’s leading retail brands, as part of an ongoing £40 million investment programme to revitalise the store for the future.

Planning consent has been achieved to open up the ground floor windows and re-route the store’s entry sequence, welcoming shoppers through a new grand central entrance on Northumberland Street.

The plans for the store and frontage have been developed in close consultation with Newcastle City Council to enhance community engagement, forming part of the Council’s own major ongoing investments towards a regeneration of Northumberland Street and the wider city centre area.

This is the latest milestone in a major investment programme announced by Fenwick in 2022, in celebration of their 140th anniversary. The programme is transforming the shopper experience, creating a next generation store for the northeast region and marking the retailer’s long-standing commitment to the city’s development and local economy. So far, works have included the construction of one of two central atria which will open up the inside of the building, and the ongoing renovation of the beauty hall led by Sybarite.

To ensure the design stays true to the building’s heritage, Fenwick has granted the team access to its historic archives, and the design has been inspired by the many changes the Newcastle store has undergone over the last 140 years. Through an analytical reinterpretation of the store’s historic context, Mailen Design’s concept balances material craftsmanship with innovation to signify the brand’s evolution whilst restoring a sense of heritage.

This revitalisation of Fenwick’s flagship store epitomises Mailen Design’s ability to artfully balance the restoration of historic fabric with contemporary reinterpretation, craftsmanship, and placemaking.

Kieran McBride, Newcastle Store Director, Fenwick said: “Our flagship store has remained a treasured part of the city centre since opening in 1882, and its evolution marks a continuing connection to Newcastle, and commitment to the city’s future.”

“Improving accessibility and enhancing the customer experience will allow the store to remain the destination of choice for shoppers across the region. The collaboration with Mailen Design and Newcastle City Council has been invaluable, investing together to ensure Northumberland Street and Newcastle’s city centre remain a thriving hub for its visitors and surrounding community.”

Ben Mailen, Managing Director, Mailen Design said: “The renovation of such a prominent building, involving the restoration of its historic fabric and a thoughtful addition of high quality material craftsmanship, is an opportunity that is very special for the practice.

“In close collaboration with the esteemed Fenwick brand and an extremely talented wider design team, we have reimagined the store frontage to reflect a contemporary re-interpretation of significant milestones in Fenwick’s history, including the preservation of the central doors, curved shopfronts and the striking canopy from the post-war years. Our analytical approach to research and context has resulted in a solution that celebrates the building’s heritage and allows Northumberland Street to continue supporting the city’s community.”

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