REINVIGORATE – VICTORIA PLACE – WORKING
‘Woking Shopping’ rebranded and relaunched as Victoria Place on 23rd March 2022. This has been the culmination of a 5 year, £700m development programme which has entirely repurposed the centre of the town.
A new public atrium space, Henry Plaza, anchored by a flagship M&S, has been designed to link Woking’s two existing malls, creating a more logical visitor journey around the town. One of the big challenges has been the need to respond to changes in the way people shop and use public spaces since the original vision was developed 10 years ago. The trick has been to design a space with the flexibility to evolve in line with these changes. With less demand for retail, Woking anticipated the opportunities of leisure, with Woking Superbowl and The Gym Group all taking space.
With their national HQ in Woking, ATG has also transformed their theatre and cinema spaces over the last 2 years.
The opening of Italia Conti Performing Arts right in the heart of Victoria Place is probably the town’s biggest coup. Condensing all its separate locations into one single campus in the heart of Victoria Place has acted as a catalyst for the development designed to attract an aspirational target audience to the scheme.
A further imaginative use of vacant units saw renowned local gallery The Lighbox install a contemporary pop-up gallery which proved a popular hit with visitors. Seven new restaurants have opened within the development including Gordon Ramsay’s national catering school which again adds further to the experiential aspect of the offer. Two new residential towers introduced the opportunity to live right in the heart of the town, backed by a landmark new Hilton Hotel which will open later in 2022. A particular objective of the marketing team has been to maintain the trading profile of the existing schemes within Woking during the upheaval of the development works whilst managing the introduction of the new overarching Victoria Place branding spanning the whole new development.
Since its opening in March 22, the town has seen a revival in sales in the heart of the town beyond the expected post-Covid bounce-back. Digital engagement has substantially exceeded expectations. Residential sign-ups have also substantially exceeded the target. Victoria Place has redefined how local audiences view their town.