Shopping giant Intu failed to reach an agreement in financial restructuring talks today meaning Intu Watford and Intu Milton Keynes could be closing their doors having just re-opened them following the coronavirus shutdown.
Earlier this week, Intu Properties warned that shopping malls across the UK may have to close their doors for a period. Intu Properties who are currently £4.5 billion in debt have been in talks with their creditors to obtain standstill agreements. This would have meant Intu would not have to pay back what it has borrowed until the end of 2021. These talks failed and Intu is entering administration with potential closures in Watford & Milton Keynes.
What is administration?
Administration is an insolvency procedure that protects your company against legal pressure from its creditors while an Insolvency Practitioner or firm acts as administrator. Many companies come back from administration.
What does this mean for our high streets?
The news comes as a double blow as Milton Keynes and Watford have lost Debenhams in the past month. The closure of a two-year-old Debenhams store in Watford is particularly disappointing . With its upmarket beauty hall and gin bar, it had been billed as the retailer’s ‘store of the future’. New ideas were introduced which included hosted events for Beauty Club members – a new online loyalty scheme and forum, featuring tips and advice on products from regular customers.
Some view a potential collapse as a good thing for independents who have struggled recently. Rents have been extremely high for all involved and changes in shopping behaviour have created the perfect storm alongside the coronavirus pandemic. Many are hoping landlords take note and look at rent levels.
Monsoon Accessorize, the business behind popular High Street fashion retailers Monsoon and Accessorize recently announced they are closing 35 stores across the UK with two in The Three Counties.
Milton Keynes Theatre opens Auditions for 14 to 19 year olds
Young people aged 14 to 19 are invited to audition to be part of the MKT Academy Young Company, offering them the opportunity to gain valuable experience in staging a professional production, from the audition to the final curtain.
Participants will work with director Kitty Benford between January and April 2022 to create their own version of the play Like There’s No Tomorrow for NT Connections. The play was originally devised by the Belgrade Young Company with Justine Themen, Claire Procter and Liz Mytton. The Young Company will perform their new production at Milton Keynes Theatre and the Royal & Derngate in Northampton, with the potential to perform at the Connections showcase at the National Theatre in London.
Alexandra Snell, Senior Creative Learning Manager said: “We are really excited to have been selected to take part in NT Connections 2022 and can’t wait to work with a brand-new group of local young people. This topical play feels extremely relevant to our current generation and I am sure the company will make something truly innovative.”
Like There’s No Tomorrow will be a fast paced and vibrant show that focuses on young people and how they feel about climate change and the inaction of the adults around them. This production by MKT Academy Young Company will highlight the unique relationship that Milton Keynes has with the topics of climate change and capitalism, as well as exploring the links our citizens have to other parts of the world that are impacted by climate change. The show will be high energy, feature ensemble storytelling, movement and music and hopes to gather all the resources required in an eco-friendly manner.
Auditions are taking place on Saturday 8th January between 11am and 2pm. To book your place in the audition workshop, email email@example.com
As well as performers, Milton Keynes Theatre would like to hear from young people with an interest in directing and stage managing.
Milton Keynes Theatre is also looking for local sponsors to support this exciting project, which would offer young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to take part. If you would like to help, please contact the theatre’s Sales and Development Manager, Linda Davies on: firstname.lastname@example.org
What the jingle bells is going on at The Galleria?
The true identity of a very festive intruder, spotted on CCTV arriving at The Galleria, has now been confirmed as none other than Santa’s most esteemed helper… the scout Elf! As per Christmas tradition, the scout Elf has been tasked with keeping an eye on guests…he’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice! And this year, it seems that Elf has decided to take residence at The Galleria for the month of December – watching guests, appearing here and there around the centre and of course already getting up to his world-renowned mischief!
To celebrate the Elf’s arrival, The Galleria has launched an official Elf Hunt and is encouraging Elf hunters to take s-Elfies and share them on social media with the hashtag #GalleriaElf.
Chief Officer of Christmas at The Galleria, commented: “When we arrived at the outlet on 1st December, we were stunned to find one of Santa’s infamous scout elves had moved in overnight. We’re incredibly excited at his arrival and have launched The Galleria Elf Hunt, inviting guests to seek out his hiding spots. So far the elf has stayed true to his reputation of causing a bit of havoc so we’ll make sure we keep an eye on him during his stay.”
As well as the Elf Hunt, guests to The Galleria can enjoy seasonal entertainment from local community groups on selected dates along with supporting East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals Charity and Lister Hospital’s Children’s Ward by donating a Christmas gift at The Giving Tree.
For more information about the Elf Hunt and Christmas events at The Galleria, visit https://thegalleria.co.uk/articles/elf-hunt
Milton Keynes activewear brand Gymcub Apparel opens Christmas pop-up
GymCub Apparel, the Milton Keynes born activewear and leisure brand is set to open a pop-up store at Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes following a successful launch online earlier this year. Opening at 10am on Wednesday 1st December, the brand – which has a growing fanbase in the local area – will welcome guests throughout the festive period and into the New Year, for a limited time only.
Marking the opening of its first ever physical store, the brand – known for its bold and daring designs – will sell its best-selling items including its co-ord signature tracksuits and hoodies, as well as its much-loved t-shirts, vests, leggings, and cropped tops. It will also launch a brand-new limited-edition line which will be exclusively available in store only.
Located opposite Victoria’s Secret, the stylish activewear brand which has been spotted on a host of reality TV stars including Love Island’s Connor Durman, Emma Woodhams and TOWIE’s Roman Hackett will finally be available to purchase in store for the first time ever and will celebrate by sharing an exclusive 50% discount to first time customers on Friday 3rd December.
Richard Cayless, Owner of GymCub Apparel commented “GymCub Apparel was born here in Milton Keynes, so it only felt right to open our first ever pop-up in the city. We’ve had a successful launch period, growing our community online and this marks the next step in building that fanbase further. Our ethos is all about looking great and feeling great and that will be reflected in our instore experience”
He continued “We know Christmas is always a busy period, with lots of people on the lookout for the perfect gift and we cannot wait to bring our bold and daring designs to Milton Keynes. We cannot wait to welcome everyone when doors open at 10am on Wednesday.”