By Phil Maclean, Retail Director, Eagle One
If you’ve visited Wilton Shopping Village recently, you may have noticed things are starting to change.
During lock-down, we accelerated a significant programme of improvements, re-purposing disused space, and we put a team together with ambitions of returning the village to former glories.
Led by myself and fellow Retail Director, Tom Hedges, (pictured) the village has already attracted a plethora of new businesses this summer, including a new eatery Herbs & Wild, fine art gallery The Archive, global charity The Halo Trust, design and maker of handcrafted upholstery Sofa Smith, and a whole host of quality home and lifestyle independents.
Many readers would have also learned of the announcement in August of the departure of our longstanding anchor store, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Their departure has presented us with an exciting opportunity to redevelop their former space.
The project will be led by Tom, who brings his expertise in developing high-profile tourist attractions through transformational change. He is leading the design and re-purposing of this space, focusing on combining the unique historic features with new contemporary placemaking and other innovations. Tom will also be aiming to enhance accessibility and customer experience.
Tom’s working life started in landscape and environmental construction, so he is therefore excited to be working on opening up and enhancing the magical waterways which flow through the village.
Earlier this year, we partnered with self-styled ‘queen of shops’ Mary Portas, who helped us through a journey of creating a new identity for the village, which will be revealed in a matter of weeks.
As you’d expect, we can’t wait to share that with you all, but it’s not just a new identity and logo that we sit on the threshold of, as Mary imparted so much more on that journey to help us make fundamental changes. We will be seeking to inspire visitors to make meaningful connections with our brands and we want to put people before consumers and kindness before profit to ensure we create something truly memorable, sustainable and worthy of such a historic and vibrant town as Wilton.
Eagle One is committed to investing not only in the built environment but also in people, by providing platforms to enable small businesses to flourish, employment opportunities to local people and supporting the wider local economies of Wilton and Salisbury.
Even amid all the challenges thrown at us this year, we believe we have never been in a healthier place to embark on this exciting new chapter in the history of Wilton Shopping Village.