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Centre, The

(Almondvale Shopping Centre)

An immense shopping centre, intended to form a 'town centre' for the new town of Livingston (West Lothian), it opened as the Almondvale Shopping Centre in 1976. Developed in several phases, it was rebranded as The Centre in 2008 and now includes 155 retail units and extends to 85,935 sq. m (925,000 sq. feet) and 600m (656 yards) in length, making this the largest covered shopping centre in Scotland.

The first phase was 20,439 sq. m (220,000 sq. feet) and the complex was refurbished by its owners, Land Securities Ltd., in 1988. Land Securities are a London-based commercial property group which owns more than forty shopping centres and retail parks across the UK. The second phase was completed in 1996 and brought the size of the centre to 51,097 sq. m (550,000 sq. feet) and further refurbishment of the original phase was undertaken three years later. A final phase, known as Elements Square, opened in 2008. The centre is now divided into five zones; namely, from west to east, The Avenue (comprising restaurants), The Wintergarden (fast food), Elements Square, Almondvale Place, Almondvale Walk. For a British shopping centre, the scale is remarkable and the use materials such as granite flooring, and extensive natural lighting, give a degree of style to the complex.

The anchor stores include an Asda-Walmart Superstore, at the eastern end of the centre, and BHS, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams at the western end. The centre extends westwards to meet the Livingston Designer Outlet, on the opposite side of Almondvale Avenue, and three further retail parks. The combination of The Centre and Livingston Designer Outlet provides almost 1 km (two-thirds of a mile) of continuous retail therapy. There are more than 4000 parking spaces.

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