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Confirmed: Enniskillen Is Getting A New Retail Park. Here’s Everything We Know So Far

  • Date: March 10, 2023
  • Time to read: 3 min.

In case you missed it, a new retail and leisure park is coming to Enniskillen. The £15.5 million Lakelands Retail & Leisure Park was given the go-ahead back in March.

An exciting addition to the town, the new retail park will be situated on the grounds of the former Unipork site on the Cornagrade Road, about a mile outside of the town centre.

The new development has been the subject of much debate in the town. While some have welcomed the prospect of new jobs and regeneration, many local businessmen and women have expressed concern that the park will attract shoppers away from Enniskillen’s high street.

While there’s no word on when building will commence just yet, there are plenty of details about the retailers that are due to set up shop.

What retailers are confirmed for Enniskillen’s new retail park?

The site will be home to five retail units, a drive-through restaurant, and – a must for weary shoppers – a coffee pod. (Rumour has it, Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons could be taking up residence.)

In particular, the arrival of popular home and gardens store The Range has drummed up much excitement in the local community. The retailer is set to be the park’s anchor tenant and is confirmed to take a 35,000 square foot unit in the new development.

The retail park won’t just be a destination for keen shoppers or coffee lovers either: a 54-bedroom hotel is also confirmed, along with a 5-screen Movie Bowl cinema, 8-lane bowling alley and soft play area for the kids.

Add to that, visitors will be able to fuel up at the park’s self-service filling station and have access to 751 parking spaces.

How might Enniskillen’s new retail park benefit the town?

While the Lakeland’s Leisure & Retail Park has had its dissenters, we’re hopeful it will be a positive addition to the town, one that benefits local retailers, shoppers, and tourists alike.

Here are some potential benefits we’ll welcome with the retail park’s arrival:

New jobs

It’s estimated that the new retail park will generate around 450 new jobs, attracting retail assistants and managers, baristas, hotel staff, and more. 

The retail and hospitality sectors were particularly hard hit during the pandemic and stats from the Northern Ireland Statistics And Research Agency (NIRSA) show that across Fermanagh unemployment went up in the period leading up to December 2020. 

Add to that, Enniskillen currently has a 14.2 per cent vacant retail unit rate which is higher than the national average, so, for retail workers, in particular, the new development could be a positive where jobs are concerned.  

Regeneration

The former Unipork site has laid vacant for over 20 years and has had problems with fly-tipping in the past.

With modern shop fronts and state-of-the-art construction, Enniskillen’s new retail park could add some welcome regeneration to an area that is a popular thoroughfare into the town centre.

A CGI video produced by Elm Grange LTD (the park’s developers) gives an idea of how the retail park and surrounding areas might look once the development is complete.

A tourism boost

Enniskillen is no stranger to tourists. We’ve got beautiful lakes, stunning scenery, and a thriving food scene to thank for that.

With a new hotel on the horizon, popular shops, and more places to eat and drink, it’s likely we’ll see more tourists on the streets of our beautiful island town. 

According to Tourism NI, in 2019 Fermanagh and Omagh area welcomed the third-highest proportion of overnight holiday trips of all the local government districts in Northern Ireland, with visitors spending an average of £180 per trip.

If the Lakelands Retail & Leisure Park attracts more overnight visitors, it could equal significant investment in the town. 

Out of town shoppers

More shops and cafes mean more reason for people outside of Enniskillen to travel to our wee town for a good day’s shopping.

It’s hoped that these shoppers will also be keen to visit Enniskillen’s high street and Erneside Shopping Centre, stopping for a bite in some popular local eateries on the way.

Could Enniskillen become the destination for Northern Irish and cross-border shoppers keen to splash some cash? Here’s hoping!

Keep an eye on enniskillen.com for more updates on the Lakelands Retail & Leisure Park. 

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