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Tue 19th May 2015 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Luminar changes name to Deltic, re-brands Chicago Rock, reports pre-tax profit up 18% to £3.7m: Nightclub company Luminar has changed its name to The Deltic Group and decided to re-brand former Chicago Leisure sites into a new concept called Bar & Beyond. The move comes as it reported an 18% increase in profits to £3.7m for the 53 weeks until 28 February 2015. The company, which employs 3,000 people and operates 58 nightclubs and bars nationwide, also delivered Ebitda of £11.4m on turnover of £93.3m. Chief executive Peter Marks said: “At the time of acquisition, the board’s focus was on stabilising The Luminar Group and developing a clear strategy for growth. The company has now delivered its third year of growth, with its strategic focus on investing in its estate, people and entertainment to create great nights out for its customers, delivering strong results. The acquisition of eight sites from Chicago Leisure in 2014 marked a change in direction, with plans to develop a late night bar business to complement our existing nightclub offer. As such, the time is now right to change the company’s name to reflect its future strategy.” The board chose the name Deltic – from the Greek letter Delta associated with change – to signify change. The company has already undergone significant change to refocus its business and the move to Deltic signifies its commitment to create the ‘UK’s premier late night bar and club business, concentrating on new concepts, investing in its estate and its people and creating compelling ‘Big Night Outs’. As part of its strategy to widen its exposure in the late night bar sector, The Deltic Group plans to invest £3m in transforming former Chicago Leisure’s Chicago Rock sites into its new concept, Bar & Beyond, with the first site due to open in Chelmsford later this year. Luminar has invested over £8.5m in its estate with major refurbishments at Pryzm in Leeds, Brighton and Cardiff, Fiction in Swansea and Hanley, and Cameo in Ashford and Preston. Future plans include a £3m refurbishment of its Basildon nightclub and further investments in Ipswich, Oxford, Andover and Camberley. The company continues to develop its entertainment strategy, with spend up 50% on 2014. Creating a compelling customer offer, this includes partnerships with premier comedy clubs, Glee and Manford’s, a Student Big Night Out and a tour just announced with Jess Glynne. “The Deltic Group is setting new standards in late night bars and clubs with well invested, stylish venues, high levels of customer service and unrivalled entertainment to build our profile as the UK’s largest late night bar and club operator,” added Marks.

Industry News:

Government to set out new measures today to help small businesses: Measures to support entrepreneurs and job creation in a new Bill will be set out today (Tuesday 19 May) in Sajid Javid’s first speech as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in Bristol, the city where he grew up above his parents’ shop. Javid, who is due to speak at the Engine Shed business centre, will say that the Bill will help make Britain the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, and help create two million more jobs over the next five years, so that more people have the security of a regular paypacket. Javid said: “Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them. As business secretary I will always back them and, in my determination to get the job done, one of my first steps will be to bring forward an Enterprise Bill that helps them to succeed and create jobs. As part of our long-term economic plan, we will sweep away burdensome red tape, get heavy handed regulators off firms’ backs and create a small business conciliation service to help resolve disputes."

Nando's to debut in Chicago this week:
Nando's is to expand its footprint in the United States with its first opening in Chicago this week. Currently, the company only has a handful of restaurants in the US open in the Washington area. But tomorrow it opens in Chicago's West Loop at 853 W. Randolph Street, followed by additional locations in Lakeview in June and Lincoln Park in September. The Chicago restaurants will offer a few unique items on the menu, including a chicken and kale salad, butterflied chicken breast served on garlic bread, a nutty date chicken salad, a roasted veggie wrap and a cucumber and poppyseed side salad. The West Loop restaurant will feature a mosaic that includes 4,032 ceramic tiles made by the Cape Town artist Liza Grobler.
 
Intu – major chains are using our shopping centres for national roll-out plans: The shopping centre company Intu has claimed that major restaurant brands are using its shopping centres as staging posts to national expansion. Restaurant Group's Coast to Coast, Five Guys, Wagamama and Boost Juice Bar in particular are benefiting from the family-friendly appeal and multi-million footfall at the Intu owned centres, it argued. Mike Butterworth, Intu's chief operating office, said: “Catering continues to be an area of significant growth in the UK and many leading hospitality chains have exciting expansion plans. Both established operators and new brands are recognising that Intu can provide truly national access to millions of customers at prime and super-regional prime shopping centres. Two thirds of the UK population visit Intu-owned shopping centres each year to socialise, spend time with friends and family, and relax. Having the best restaurants and bars is an important part of that customer experience.” Intu is building, or is about to start construction work on, five new dining areas that, combined, will have space for some 55 restaurants. The five new developments are at Intu Eldon Square, Intu Metrocentre, Intu Potteries, Intu Victoria Centre and Intu Bromley. Among recent deals, Coast to Coast has signed new leases for restaurants at Intu Metrocentre and Intu Trafford Centre. These are in addition to previously announced agreements for space within new dining areas at Intu Potteries and Intu Victoria Centre.
 
Meantime takeover 'will trigger many similar deals' says Mintel analyst: The takeover of Meantime Brewing, one of Britain's biggest and most successful craft beer brewers, by SAB Miller, the second-biggest brewer in the world, is likely to encourage a host of similar deals, according to Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel. Wisson told Marketing Week magazine: "I think this won’t be the last independent brewery acquisition from SABMiller and will trigger many similar deals. It’s taken a long time for the UK big boys to really tap into this trend. In the US market there’s been a trend of indies getting swallowed up for a while now, with the likes of AB InBev acquiring Goose Island and Molson Coors buying out Cornwall brewery Sharp’s, who make Doom Bar, back in 2011." As well as Goose Island of Chicago, AB InBev, the world's biggest brewer, bought Seattle's Elysian Brewing in January, which followed its purchase of Oregon's 10 Barrel Brewing, while Molson-Coors bought Creemore Springs in Ontario. Accendo Markets analyst Michael van Dulken told Marketing Week that "the fast growth and more innovative approach" of craft brewers "is certainly attractive in a flattish beer market." Meanwhile, Meantime's founder, Alastair Hook, has answered critics of the sale to SAB Miller, including rival craft beer brewer Jeff Rosenmeier of Lovibonds in Henley, who told Reuters that he questioned whether Meantime could still be considered a craft beer brand at all after SABMiller's move and said: "I probably won't be drinking Meantime anymore." In a post on Meantime's blog, Hook wrote: "All I ever wanted was to give beer drinkers a wide choice of flavourful, interesting beer. That is why I trained to be a brewer and why I have been heavily involved in the development of modern craft beer in the UK over the last 25 years. Passion for beer means aspiration to make it perfect and these values are shared by all great brewers, large or small. I have always aspired to make more beer and better beer and I have never seen scale and quality as mutually exclusive. Meantime will now benefit hugely from the science and experience of SABMiller, one of the world’s great brewers: with a free hand to innovate at every corner, finding and making new friends for beer."
 
Postmates signs up 10,000 couriers as food hits 85% of deliveries: Postmates, the on-demand delivery service founded four years ago, has grown to a fleet of 10,000 couriers in nearly 60 cities, and has now signed Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald’s and Starbucks. Holger Luedorf, Postmates' senior vice-president of business, told Nation’s Restaurant News: “We started with food. If you can deliver a hot meal or cup of coffee, you can deliver anything. Prepared food makes up 85% of our deliveries today.” Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's chief marketing and development officer, said Postmates-delivered coffee was growing exponentially. “We are seeing a 30% month-over-month growth on those orders, and we have not publicised this,” he said. “So there is a tremendous amount of potential for individual orders, but it’s a little bit too early for us to predict what long-term impact that will have.” McDonald's is the latest food company in the United States to partner Postmates, beginning a trial on 3 May involving 88 restaurants in New York.
 
£40m of restaurants, bars and hotels for sale in Blackpool, says newspaper: Around 200 restaurants, bars and hotels worth almost £40m are up for sale across Blackpool, according to the Blackpool Gazette. The newspaper said figures show “a staggering” 140 hotels. with nearly 2,000 rooms between them are currently on the market in the town, double the number at the same time last year. Adding in restaurants, bars, cafes and guest houses, and the number of commercial properties listed for sale climbs to 200, it said. The high number of outlets for sale comes despite hoteliers reporting an upturn in business in the past 12 months, after years of struggle during the recession. Estate agents told the newspaper that interest in Blackpool remains high but tough new rules brought in by the banks were to blamed for the slow property market, which has left some hoteliers waiting years to sell their businesses.
 
CPL wins top Scottish training award: CPL Training Group, the leading provider of licensed retail and hospitality training across the UK, has been named as the winner of the Scottish Training Award at the 2015 BII Scotland Awards. It beat off stiff competition from GTG Training, the George Hotel in Edinburgh and Tennents Training Academy. CPL Training Group was nominated for the accolade by the owner of the Aberdeenshire based Cheers Cafe Bar & Tavern, Dennis Forsyth, who has used CPL Online as part of his staff training process since 2012. Daniel Davies, CPL Training Group’s chief executive, said: “Winning this award, is not only a success for CPL Training Group, but also for our clients. It’s great to see that so many people, like Dennis can benefit and win awards too, with the help of our training systems.”

Company News:

Sky News – HayFin set to take full control of Novus: Sky News has reported that HayFin Capital Management is close to a deal to take full control of the premium bar and restaurant operator Novus Leisure. HayFin, which provided the debt for a buyout of Novus in 2012, has hired AlixPartners to advise on a potential restructuring that could materialise as soon as next week. A deal would be expected to involve the company receiving fresh financial backing in an attempt to accelerate the turnaround of the business. The existing shareholders, Hutton Collins and LGV Capital, could see their interest in the business disappear as part of any deal. HayFin is understood to have been exploring a potential sale of Novus after a breach of its banking covenants, although there had so far been limited interest in a takeover of the whole company. Novus operates 46 entertainment venues, the majority of which are in London. Documents filed at Companies House show that the directors nominated to Novus's board by Hutton Collins and LGV resigned earlier this month. Chief executive Toby Smith is likely to remain in his role after any change of ownership, a source told Sky News. HayFin is said to believe that the planned introduction of 24-hour services on some London Underground lines was likely to boost trading at Novus.
 
Tommy Flynn Pub Group takes 11th Enterprise pub: A family-run multiple operator has taken on its 11th pub with Enterprise Inns. The London-based Tommy Flynn Pub Group has just signed a long-term agreement on Flynn’s Pub & Kitchen, in Dalling Road, Hammersmith. It has also just completed a refurbishment of the Finchley Tavern, in High Road, North Finchley, which will be renamed Tommy Flynn’s. The group’s other Enterprise pubs in and around London are: Tommy Flynn’s Hackney, Holloway Road and Hounslow; the Robinson Crusoe, Stoke Newington; the Old Red Lion, Staines; the Orange Tree, Romford; the Chandos, Brockley, the Armstrong Gun, Englefield; and Bar 51, Windsor. The company, led by Sean Flynn, and now with daughter Averil and son Gerard involved as well, has been established for more than 20 years. Enterprise's divisional recruitment manager Luke Seymour said: “It’s fantastic news to secure another long-term deal with one of the best multiple operators in London. This family-run business has been a highly successful business partner with Enterprise for almost all of its 20 years, and in Averil and Gerard, there’s now a new generation of Flynns driving the business forward under Sean's guidance and leadership."
 
Wagamama opens in Trowbridge with chef's table: Wagamama opened a new 90-seat site at the St Stephen’s Place Leisure Park in Trowbridge, Wiltshire yesterday with a chef's table. General manager Ken Ohene-Adu, who has come from the Wagamama at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol to oversee the opening of the new outlet, told the Trowbridge Times: “The new look has that entertainment factor, with the open kitchen at the front allowing diners to sit by the chef’s table and see their food being made while having a chat with the chef." Simon Cope, the company's global branch director, said: “We are delighted to open the doors to our new restaurant in Trowbridge. It marks the beginning of Wagamama’s biggest renewal plan to date."

Tokyo Industries launches 15,000 capacity boutique festival, Lost Village: Tokyo Industries, the UK’s second largest nightclub operator, led by Aaron Mellor, is to launch a 15,000 capacity boutique music festival called the Lost Village at a secret woodland site near Lincoln. Spread over three days of the forthcoming Bank Holiday Weekend, 22 May to Sunday 24 May, it will feature more than 80 artists including Annie Mac, Jamie Jones, Tale of Us, Four Tet, Hannah Wants, Grandmaster Flash and Greg Wilson playing on four themed stages. Mellor said: “We wanted to create something a little more special than your usual year one festival.” www.lostvillagefestival.com

Starbucks signs unique deal with Spotify: Starbucks has entered into a letter of intent with leading music streaming service, Spotify, to establish a multi-year relationship that will link its 7,000 company-operated stores in the US and ten million My Starbucks Rewards (MSR) loyalty members with Spotify’s more than 60 million global users to offer a first-of-its-kind music ecosystem. This interconnectivity will allow Starbucks MSR members unique access to Starbucks music on Spotify, the ability to influence in-store playlists as well as opportunities for Starbucks MSR members to earn Stars as Currency. “For over 40 years, music has played a vital role in Starbucks Third Place experience – inspiring our employees and customers in unexpected ways that have helped to shape the global pop culture. And we are delighted and honoured to bring Spotify directly to our customers,” said Howard Schultz, chief executive of Starbucks. “Throughout its history, Starbucks has worked closely with the music industry, offering a variety of artists a platform for their work. By connecting Spotify’s world-class streaming platform into our world-class store and digital ecosystem, we are reinventing the way our millions of global customers discover music.” There will be a phased rollout later in the autumn in Starbucks US company-owned locations, followed shortly thereafter in Canada and the United Kingdom. As part of the agreement, Spotify Premium will be promoted in these stores.

Wadworth buys Cotswolds inn for in excess of £1m: Wiltshire brewer and retailer Wadworth has bought The Beckford Inn and restaurant in the Cotswolds for in excess of £1m through agent Christie + Co. The coaching inn has been owned and operated by Anthony Mears and his wife Jane since 2009. Under their ownership, the Victorian property underwent extensive refurbishment and earned a reputation for its excellent food (made with fresh local produce) and quality accommodation. The couple will now be returning to Amersham for family reasons. Nicholas Calfe, director at Christie + Co’s Bristol office, said: “The property is an excellent addition to Wadworth’s impressive portfolio and we are delighted to have played a part in their continued expansion.”
 
Former boss of Istanbul brewpub to start brewing at Enterprise Inns outlet: The man who ran the Bosphorus Brewing Company, a brewpub in Istanbul, is planning on launching a brewery at an Enterprise Inns outlet in Pickering, Yorkshire. Phil and Jill Hall lived in Istanbul for eight years, setting up and running the Bosphorus Brewing Company, a brewpub serving craft beers and food, catering for British ex-pats and enthusiastic locals. Business boomed and the bar won plaudits and awards, until Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan's crackdown on alcohol. The ban on alcohol advertising meant they had to remove their bar signs and even take the beer list off their website and Facebook page, while from next year, they would have been banned from producing alcohol, because their neighbourhood was classed as a residential area. The pair returned home last year and have now taken a free-of-tie lease at the Enterprise-owned 18th-century Black Swan, where they plan to renovate the nine accommodation rooms and add a micro-brewery, so Phil can produce his own beers on site. For now, he is "cuckoo-brewing" at Brass Castle Brewery in Malton under the name Anatolian Breworks, with beers including Pale Invader and a porter called Karbon. Jill Hall told the York Press: "We are trying to make the pub a bit more focused on good local beer, supporting the local economy. We are getting a good reputation for the beers and food we have and hopefully we will soon have the rooms up and running. The business is growing week on week."

Gloucester Brewery wins race with Wetherspoon to open new bar: The Gloucester Brewery has won its race to open a new bar ahead of JD Wetherspoon. The company has now opened its new Tank bar in the brewery’s former site in Llanthony Road, which will offer up to 40 beers, with locally sourced food, including a range of cheeses, to compliment the ales. The opening came just in time for the Tall Ships festival in Gloucester from 23 to 25 May. Meanwhile Wetherspoon’s Lord High Constable pub opens in the former Coots Cafe next door to Tank on 30 June. The £200,000 revamp of the brewery site into a bar, designed by Monica Lenore, combines traditional and modern decor with small nods to the nautical history of the Docks area, such as ropes and hoists. Jared Brown, director of Gloucester Brewery, said Tank’s opening showed the progress the business has made in the past four years. He told the Gloucester Citizen: “This is a big step, but we always wanted to open up our own bar, and the perfect location was right under our noses all along. People don’t necessarily want a pint of the ordinary, they want to examine where their food and drink have come from. We’re very much about getting the best quality ingredients and the perfect product.”
 
Bill Thurston takes top job at Krispy Kreme supplier: BFP Wholesale, the bakery supplier to Greggs and Krispy Kreme has hired its new chief executive Bill Thurston from the food division of Alshaya Group, where he was vice-president. Alshaya Group, a Middle East company founded in 1890, operates a series of franchises across the region including Starbucks, Pinkberry and PizzaExpress. Thurston is also a former chief executive of Langmead Farms, a salad and vegetable producing company, and ex-managing director of Vion Food Group’s international division for fresh meat, covering the UK, Middle East, India and the Far East. BFP is based in Sevenoaks, Kent.
 
Turtle Bay signs up to new Exeter dining quarter: The Turtle Bay Caribbean restaurant chain has been named as the first of a planned 14 restaurants to sign up to take space in the new Queen Street dining quarter in Exeter. The chain, which currently has 15 outlets, has signed contracts for a 25-year lease with Aviva Investors on a prime location facing out onto Queen Street itself. Simon Green, associate director of Aviva Investors told the Exeter Express: “They will be taking a 4,000 sq ft unit in Queen Street. The team have been working hard to secure the first deals to bring new flavours to Exeter and Turtle Bay will certainly do that. It’s a great start to the project and signals the way forward for regenerating the offer at the Guildhall Shopping Centre.” Turtle Bay spokesman George Waite, said: “We have been very impressed with Aviva’s plans for the Guildhall Shopping Centre. We have been looking for a suitable property for some time and we are confident that Aviva’s long-term commitment and investment in this site will help cement Queen Street as the prime dining destination in the city." Will Biggart of the letting agent Jackson Criss said: “We are off to an excellent start at Queen Street, we now have more than 70% of the total floor area either in solicitors' hands or already exchanged, with excellent demand on the remaining space. This will become the premier dining destination within Exeter when completed, with two roof-top restaurants and some very exciting names, new to the South West. The dining will complement the already strong city centre retail experience and complete the missing part of the jigsaw within Exeter and provide a shot in the arm for the city’s eating offer.”
 
Oakman Inns' pub opening pushed back in Ongar:
An opening date of mid-June has been announced for Oakman Inns and Restaurants' latest outlet in Essex, the Kings Head pub and restaurant in Ongar High Street. The venue had been due to open in October last year but planning difficulties meant Oakman, which leases the property from its owner Ye Ongar Pub Company, had to alter its plans. An opening date in May was then announced, but that too was pushed back, with work at the site only starting on 5 May. A spokeswoman for Oakman Inns told the Brentwood Gazette: "We will be opening in mid-June with a bar, restaurant and an al fresco dining area serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. We are all very excited about the new site opening and are still recruiting front of house and kitchen team members. We have been working closely with the local planning authorities to make sure that we deliver a building that the community use which is also sympathetic to the building's history and origin." Oakman is spending £800,000 refurbishing the Kings Head. It will have a bar and large restaurant area, plus 30 seats in a terrace area behind the building and 30 more in a garden. There is also the potential for six hotel rooms upstairs.
 
TGI Friday's debuts Leicester site: TGI Friday's opened a new site in the Highcross shopping centre in Leicester at the weekend. The restaurant, on the corner of Bath House Lane and Causeway Lane, can seat 170 guests and has created 80 new careers in the city. The restaurant features locally themed décor, including Monty Python-inspired elements – a nod to Graham Chapman, a member of the comedy troop who was born in Leicester. Victoria Ward-Jackson, general manager for TGI Friday's in Leicester, said: “We have had a very exciting, fun and busy opening weekend, welcoming many Leicester residents through our doors. The atmosphere has been electric, and the feedback on our extensive list of cocktails, food, and unique décor has been superb."

Hungry Horse opens in Doncaster shopping centre: Greene King is due to open the first licensed restaurant in the Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster today (Tuesday). It will be the second outlet for the Hungry Horse pub restaurant chain in the town. The new venue, a 5,800 sq ft unit in the Food Mall, which includes an outdoor garden terrace overlooking the transport interchange and railway station, is called the Mallard, after the record-breaking steam locomotive built in Doncaster at the Plant Works, which still holds the world speed record for steam locomotives. Hungry Horse also runs the Cumberland on Thorne Road, Doncaster.
 
Lease on Lambeth pub becomes available: The lease on a landmark pub in Lambeth, South London has become available through the property agent AG&G. Panayiotis Themistocli of AG&G said: “Back in 1935, the freeholder agreed a 90-year lease, provided the property is never used as a shop or house but only as a pub. The current lessee is open to either granting a new sub-lease, inviting rental offers for the property, or selling the head lease with vacant possession, which expires in November 2025. We’re expecting considerable interest because of its location. The immediate area around Elephant & Castle – the former Heygate Estate and Elephant & Castle shopping centre – is undergoing major regeneration, which is going to see the neighbourhood improve. Elephant & Castle, Borough and London Bridge are within a few minutes’ walking distance.”
 
Spirit partners CPL Online to create one-stop learning passport: Spirit Pub Company has partnered CPL Online to create the "learning passport", a one-stop training platform accessible to all Spirit pub leadership teams. CPL said the passport provides a single encompassing area to access and track e-learning training and development, updating in real time to create what it said was a first for the hospitality industry. The passport, designed as part of the pub company’s people development strategy, sits on Spirit’s e-learning console and is accessible via the company’s intranet, also developed by CPL Online. Every pub employee has a unique login enabling them to track their activity over time. The passport links directly into Spirit’s payroll system, and automatically updates user credentials such as job promotions and allocates the relevant training courses based on job roles. The platform provides a record of all compliance training and core-learning modules the employee has completed as well as providing access to foundation courses, which enable employees to progress onto the next stage of their career. Andrew Rannard, implementation manager at CPL Online, said: “Spirit’s innovative learning passport has the means to change the face of HR. The pub company have been forward thinking in their approach, allowing us to work alongside them to use state-of-the-art design practices to create a comprehensive training and development solution.”
 
Norfolk garden centre invests £500,000 in restaurant with farm-to-fork credentials: A Norfolk garden centre has undergone a £500,000 expansion to make itself the hub of a local food chain, including the growing, selling and cooking of home-grown produce. Green Pastures Plant Centre and Farm Shop at Bergh Apton, south of Norwich, is owned by James Debbage and his partner Michelle Evans. Debbage said the new restaurant, named the Gardener’s Kitchen, builds on the close relationship between the garden centre, its farm shop and the Debbage family farm down the road at Alpington. The chefs make homemade specials every day, Debbage said, championing Norfolk delicacies and accenting seasonal produce. A mainstay of the menu will be the salads, with up to 40 varieties of leaves, herbs and edible flowers. Many of the ingredients are either grown on site, or at the Debbages’ farm, or supplied by a network of Norfolk producers. Debbage said: “We clearly needed to make ourselves more of an all-year-round proposition, and an all-weather proposition. With so much fresh, home-grown and locally-grown produce at our disposal it seemed obvious to create the new restaurant around this."
 
Surbiton restaurateur opens second French venue in Wimbledon: Chef-restaurateur Eric Guignard, who owns the French Table in Surbiton, South West London, has taken over the Lawn Bistro site in nearby Wimbledon Village to open the White Onion, a 70-cover French/Mediterranean bistro. Guignard will carry on cooking at the French Table, while the head chef in Wimbledon will be his protege of eight years, Frederic Duval. The menu will include diver-caught scallops with pork belly, cauliflower puree and green apple gel; honey roast quail with pistachio puree and celeriac remoulade; assiette of Herdwick lamb with almond and roquette crust; and monkfish wrapped in crispy potato with chorizo and broad bean risotto. During the Wimbledon Tennis Championship fortnight, 29 June to 12 July, the White Onion intends to open for lunch throughout the week.
 
Middlesbrough Council backs new Nando's at Teesside Shopping Park:
Middlesbrough Council has said it will raise no objection to a proposed Nando's restaurant at Teesside Shopping Park – because the chain already has a successful outlet in the middle of Middlesbrough itself. Plans for Nando's to build and open a 4,000 sq ft restaurant between the existing Asda and Outfit stores in the south east corner of the retail park were submitted to Stockton Council at the end of April. Neighbouring Middlesbrough Council's planning officer David Marjoram said in a letter to Stockton Council: "In principle, Middlesbrough Council have (longstanding) concerns regarding the potential long-term impact out-of-centre retail destinations such as Teesside Park have upon the vitality and viability of Middlesbrough's established town centre, including the potential cumulative impacts of piecemeal, often small, changes made over time. Notwithstanding the aforementioned concerns, on this occasion Middlesbrough Council does not find it necessary to formally object to the proposal in question. This decision is based not only on the relatively small scale of development proposed but, crucially, the fact the operator of the new restaurant at Teesside Park already operates successfully in Middlesbrough town centre."

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