New Strand Shopping CentreEdit profile
The New Strand Shopping Centre, known locally as 'The Strand', is the main shopping centre or mall in Bootle, Merseyside, England. Built and opened during the 1960s, it was part of a larger Bootle redevelopment during this period, which was also complemented by the establishment of the Girobank Headquarters in nearby Netherton. The shopping centre was extended during 1997-1998 and completed in November the same year to provide additional retail outlets, as well as additional car parking facilities and improved transportation to the centre. The shopping centre has won a Home Office award for its efforts in tackling crime, with just a handful of other towns and cities in the North West gaining the honour. The shopping centre became infamous during 1993 as being the scene of the abduction of toddler James Bulger, who was found dead on a railway line two days after going missing while visiting the centre with his mother. Two 10-year-old boys were subsequently found guilty of murder.
The Strand saw its first major redevelopment and expansion during 1997-1998, conceived in response to the shortage of larger sized units in Bootle. The redevelopment project consisted of a 100,000 square feet (9,300 m 2) expansion to the existing shopping centre mall, providing new floor space to a host of new retailers, whilst also providing a direct link into a new bus station and transport interchange for Merseyrail, all being completed in November 1998. Additional parking facilities were provided in the form of a new multi storey carpark which compliments the existing multi story carpark adjacent.
With over 130 stores, 'The Strand' is the largest single shopping centre in Bootle and the surrounding area. Stores include:
- Marks & Spencer
- Tesco (Metro)
- TJ Hughes
It is served by the Bootle New Strand railway station running on the Northern Line, with trains running to Southport and Liverpool city centre. Bus links to the Strand became much improved following the extension which took place during 1999, which included a new bus terminal amongst other extensions to the main building.
The shopping centre has been criticised for their health and safety procedures, when a disabled woman struggled to evacuate the building when a chip shop caught fire on 27 October 2008. The woman was trapped inside the TJ Hughes department store as smoke filled the building, and claims she told a store assistant, “don’t forget us, will you?” and asked for a Health and Safety officer, but never received the required assistance. Around 1,000 shoppers were evacuated as three fire crews were called to Costara’s Fish Bar just after 2pm and were there for more than three hours.
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