New entertainment venue replacing Wandsworth Debenhams aims to rejuvenate high street

  Posted: 03.05.21 at 09:59 by Tommy Joyce

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A new entertainment venue coming to Wandsworth is hoping that it can help rejuvenate the town's high street.

Southside Shopping Centre is set for a big shake-up this summer as Debenhams is set to be replaced by a brand-new venue named Gravity, which is planning on opening its door this summer.

Despite the four-storey building shop being one of the biggest within Southside, Gravity looks to have no problems in filling it up.

The 80,000 square feet space will boast electric go-karting on multi-levels, the latest tech bowling allies, digital darts, urban street golf, E-gaming, as well as a cocktail bar and restaurants.

Co-founder of the company, Michael Harrison, says that this new venue could attract up to 5,500 people every day, which is likely to have a positive knock-on effect on all of the stores which surround it.

Speaking to ITV, Harrison said: "The parents can say to the children, 'Go and have some fun, we're going to walk around the shops'.

"We are already working with landlords in the fact that we will repurpose Debenhams and other big high street names.

"I know we keep going on about the problem on the high street. I don't see it as a problem. I just see it as a changing of the guard.

"For too long people have opened the shutters and expected people to walk through them.

"We've got to look beyond that; we've got to give people an experience."

The shopping centre - co-owned by Landsec and Invesco Real Estate - also commented, suggesting this could be the future for many similar shopping centres.

Ed Ginn, director at Invesco Real Estate, said: "As retail changes, so must shopping and leisure destinations.

"The signing of Gravity is a sign of things to come, as the real estate m market looks to leisure innovators that can offer something unique for consumers as well as its underlying investors.

"We are delighted to have secured their London debut, given their popularity and success at other locations across the UK."

While there is no final date for the completion of the site just yet, it could prove to be popular for children and adults alike as people start to get out and about again when the UK eases out of COVID-19 restrictions.

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