What might happen to former Debenhams store in city centre?

Debenhams in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Debenhams' former building Orford Place shut for the final time in May 2021. - Credit: Archant

An offer for the site of a former Norwich city centre Debenhams is currently under consideration, however, could the space follow the lead of other department stores?

The building, in Orford Place, shut for the final time in May 2021, with a source close to the sale confirming that the potential buyer would seek to make a mixed-use development of the site if completed.

The closures of Debenhams stores - often large spaces - has left holes in high streets up and down the UK. But what have the others been turned into? 

In Belfast, part of the former Debenham's location in the city's Castlecourt shopping centre is set to become a cinema.

Omniplex Cinema Group is one of two new anchor tenants taking over the space, with plans for a nine-screen cinema and a bar.

It is expected that up to 80 jobs could be created during the works, while the cinema will employ 40 people full and part-time.

The aim is to have the new development open by Christmas 2022.

In Derby, work is under way on the first phase of the £200 million Becketwell Regeneration Scheme which replaced a former Debenhams site.

Most Read

This includes 259 one and two-bedroom build to rent apartments, which will be forward funded, acquired and operated by Grainger.

More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development and work on the first phase is anticipated to be completed by early 2023.

Future plans include up to 25,000 square metres of grade A offices, an innovation centre and leisure to complement the residential. A multi-storey car park is also planned.

In Coventry, part of the former department stores site will be transformed into a bowling alley and adventure golf course.

The centre's owners confirmed they are to invest £2m into the scheme which will also include a bar and a restaurant.

Fashion retailer Boohoo bought the Debenhams brand out of administration for £55 million earlier this year which meant the closure of all stores.

Debenhams subsequently reopened on Boohoo's online platform.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter