Poll: Castle Mall hopes for third time lucky with new design - which is your favourite?

FEBRUARY 2014: This is the revised plan for the Back Of The Inns entrance to Norwich's Castle Mall. FEBRUARY 2014: This is the revised plan for the Back Of The Inns entrance to Norwich's Castle Mall.

Dan Grimmer dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
10:48 AM

Bosses at Norwich’s Castle Mall are hoping it will be third time lucky after they submitted fresh plans for a revamp of one of the shopping centre’s entrances.

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DECEMBER 2013: Castle Mall artist's impression.DECEMBER 2013: Castle Mall artist's impression.

The centre’s owners have lodged the revised scheme to Norwich City Council after city councillors deferred a decision on a previous proposal in December.

It will be the third time an attempt has been made to get the Back Of The Inns entrance revamped, with the original scheme rejected last summer for being out of character with the area.

April 2013: Revamp of Castle Mall in Norwich revealed

APRIL 2013: The original design for the Castle Mall revamp.APRIL 2013: The original design for the Castle Mall revamp.

December 2013: Decision on proposed facelift to Castle Mall deferred

The developers say the new design, like the previous one, takes its cue from the city’s textiles industry, but hope this time, councillors will make a decision to approve the scheme.

Paul McCarthy, centre manager for Castle Mall, said: “I am delighted with the new designs and am confident that if they are approved they will send a confident signal that Castle Mall is determined to improve.

“Retail environments need to be kept up-to-date otherwise they fall behind. New retailers can choose where to open just as shoppers choose where they shop.

“As such we need to invest in what our customers and visitors tell us is important. When we consulted with the public as well as current and prospective tenants in the autumn of last year, the principle of investment in the centre was widely supported with over 500 people – 97pc of those who filled in our survey supporting the initiative.

“Castle Mall is a great asset in the centre of our city and I believe that this new entrance will help it continue to be so for many years yet.”

The developers say the new design, which they describe as “featuring a fret cut polished aluminium cladding” takes inspiration from textile weaving.

A spokesman for centre owners InfraRed Capital Partners said they had been working with the council to come up with a suitable design.

He said: “We are pleased with the progress that we have made with the council and are confident that we have a good design that we hope will be approved by the committee at its meeting in March.

“We are committed to investing in our shopping centres, to create environments that are attractive to both shoppers and retailers alike.”

• What do you think of the proposals? Post your comment below.

31 comments

  • How absolutely ridiculous as no one even looks up there, they all mope about looking at the ground.

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    Heading for Squalor

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • FLAX im not a retailer i have lived in norwich all my life and love shopping in norwich but keep spending silly money on this will not help bring in shoppers.it will be great to have a mall with a great entrance but nothing inside, MICHELLE is right, why change the caferestaurants they where always busy and done some great food.

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    DAVE

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Wow - what a choice....Christmas wrappng paper with horrible colours, rust and bullet holes or a modern and uninspiring portcullis - try again. How much money has been wasted on these designs - time to name and shame - or why not sack a whole lot more council staff and have another go at another redesign.

    Report this comment

    A Resident

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • DAVE – if I did, you would find me working, not begging!

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    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • To me, iut doesnt matter what the entrance looks like, as long as its wide enough for plenty of shoppers to move about freely when entering and exiting. I never shop in ther anyhow, there is simply nothing appealing in the Castle Mall whatsoever, Chapelfield has everything most shoppers wish for as well as Gentlemans walk and back of the Inns...Im afraid, Castle Mall is more like Anglia Square and is in no way appealing to me until something is done about the type of retailers that are in there. Once upon a time, I used to shop in Mothercare & Boots, but my children are older now, and if I want boots, Chapelfields has it, so does Riverside. Argos...well I buy online if I require anything like that....Nope, cant think of anything else nice in Castle Mall. Sorry.

    Report this comment

    luanmapo

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Bring back all the cafésrestaurants they used to have at the top of the Mall. Don't know why they changed it was a lot better how it was.

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    Michelle Thompson

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • I shouldn't worry about the facade, its the interior that counts, fill the empty shops get rid of those ridiculous market stalls and those flaming chuggers who have now been allowed in there, do you really want people to use the castle mall? One wonders.

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • It's not the entrance that's the problem, it's the fact that nothing has been spent on maintaining the inside, and there are lots of empty shops which gives the whole place such a cheap and depressing feeling that shoppers don't shop there very much and mainstream retailers don't open up in there. First thing to do is persuade TK MAXX to come out of their basementdungeon premises and open up a big and bright store that everyone can see. It desperately needs some popular shops.

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    a fine city

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • FLAX im not a retailer i have lived in norwich all my life and love shopping in norwich but keep spending silly money on this will not help bring in shoppers.it will be great to have a mall with a great entrance but nothing inside, MICHELLE is right, why change the caferestaurants they where always busy and done some great food.

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    DAVE

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Leave the entrance well alone and invest in the interior. Also invest in things like last years GoGoGorillas which drove footfall into Castle Mall. Unfortunately, the Mall has a poor mix of down market shops - needs much more excitement to draw people in.

    Report this comment

    Rich Hartt

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Did some of the commenters actually read the article? The owners of Castle Mall are InfraRed Capital Partners, a private company. The council have no part of the ownership. The owners are just trying to find a design that the council won't reject out-of-hand, as part of the revamp. There is no public money being spent other than the time of the planning team.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • One easy cheap way to improve the entrance – get rid of the beggars and their flea infested dogs that seem to populate the area.

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    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Total waste of money IMO. It's as if they have nothing better to do with their money....or should I say our money.

    Report this comment

    JEN

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • I couldn't tell you what the entrances look like now, even with the help of multiple choice pictures. I would have thought they'd be better to invest on the interior or employing a better sales team to get the empty units full again.

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    Rob_H

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • NORFOLK JOHN i hope one day you dont need help.

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    DAVE

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Is this News or Alan Partridge.Vote poll oh dear,

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    PaulH

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Looks like inspiration has been taken from Origami and using Metallic Design Christmas Wrapping Paper.

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    che bramley

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • A Resident - it isn't a waste of council money in all these redesigns, it is the company's that owns the Castle Mall and is looking to improve the building - giving much need investment into the county. The first design was fine and the council should have just let them get on with it. The Mall owners will soon get bored if this continues and will not invest in it and will eventually (when all blue chip tenants have left) sell it. If the council don't stop stifling investment we will never turn the economy around.

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    Bob

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Leave the outside alone. Do something with the inside! It looks very dated, and like others have said lifts etc are half renovated. If full of empty units, and the ones that are there are bargin basement shops mostly. Get some big name shops back in there (if you can) and modernise it, then and only then will people spend money IN there. They dont spend it to look the outside do they?

    Report this comment

    Mark Thompson

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • I shouldn't worry about the facade, its the interior that counts, fill the empty shops get rid of those ridiculous market stalls and those flaming chuggers who have now been allowed in there, do you really want people to use the castle mall? One wonders.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • I agree with Mark Thompson. I would love a food shop in there to buy groceries - the shopping mall in Peterborough has a food dept. but we cannot buy groceries near our Castle Meadow bus stops! It would also be good to buy something to read on the bus on the way home.

    Report this comment

    Lynda Edwards

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • I shouldn't worry about the facade, its the interior that counts, fill the empty shops get rid of those ridiculous market stalls and those flaming chuggers who have now been allowed in there, do you really want people to use the castle mall? One wonders.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • At least the class of customer will improve - judging by the artists impression! ;)

    Report this comment

    iclone-2000

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • My comment got deleted, thanks Archant. I said that the place is dilapidated, the lifts are half refurbished, the escalators aren't refurbished, leverl 3 and 4 are a wasteland and look horrendous, a lot of stores have been empty longer than they have been occupied (george, storm computers) and the entire place looks run down and full of cheap low quality retailers. A new entrance will not fix this mess, only investment inside will. As someone else said bring back all the restaurants and cafes to level 4 for a start...

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    User Removed

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • I actually think the terrible renderings of the proposed frontage are not doing them any favours, they look so unrealistic to what can be done. But the previous owners ruined the castle mall by building out the food court over the lower floors enclosing the main shopping thru fair making it drab. And also the cheap hollow sounding vinyl floor on the second floor which just gives it a down market feel. Also agree with the post trying to get TK Max to move to a more prominent unit.

    Report this comment

    Josh Helling

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • FLAX im not a retailer i have lived in norwich all my life and love shopping in norwich but keep spending silly money on this will not help bring in shoppers.it will be great to have a mall with a great entrance but nothing inside, MICHELLE is right, why change the caferestaurants they where always busy and done some great food.

    Report this comment

    DAVE

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Another waster of Council money, if shops owners want new designs, then let them pay for it

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • at least they are trying to do the place up which is better than the last lot that owned it who let it go ! DAVE ......you are obviously a retailer who is only concerned with the rent costs but if they keep them the same whilst getting you more trade by spending a bit of money to draw people in then surely you will be happy ????

    Report this comment

    flax

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • I personally am not to worried what they do to the outside as long as it looks inviting. Its rare that I go in Castle Mall or Chapelfield for shopping. I did go to the food bit in the mall recently which with all those seats up there and hardly any customers did feel very depressing like others have said they used to have more choice of food options up there. Its nice they have a new toy shop open where the curtain place used to be makes that end feel fresher. I find the end with Argos etc really depressing especially now they have a 99p store up there and I believe a Poundworld is coming soon too. There will be charity shops next and then it will be a city centre Anglia square. I know peoples budgets are stretched at minute but there needs to be a happy medium some how. The Mall in places seem cheap and tacky which doesn't help with the empty units. Chapelfield is the more expensive end of market.

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    Sabrina Bartram

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Whats the point if inside is dull and boring just wasting money. would be better to reduce the rent on the shops then waste money on this.

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    DAVE

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

  • Like the entrance to an amusement arcade on Yarmouth seafront. Not appropriate at all in my view.

    Report this comment

    AE

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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