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Norwich’s Castle Mall Re-brands as Castle Quarter

In an effort to beat the dwindling fortunes of the British high street, Norwich’s Castle Mall is rebranding itself as Castle Quarter this weekend after a multi-million pound investment to the site sees the addition of a bowling alley, gym and retro games arcade to the shopping centre, in addition to recent improvements which saw the addition of Timberhill Terrace, a new culinary destination for Norwich. With competition from national shopping centre giant intu just up the road in the form of Chapelfield Mall, which boasts a wide variety of popular high street chains and brands, the rebranding of Castle Quarter has been thoughtfully considered, planned and executed in a bid to entice new visitors who might see it as a destination to entertain the family for the whole day, rather than somewhere you pop into to visit a couple of shops.

The addition of a 14-lane bowling alley which also includes a soft play area for younger children and arcades area is a massive coup for a site that was considered all but dead a few years ago, with more and more empty units driving shoppers away to the more upmarket Chapelfield. The mall management made efforts to make use of the empty units and entice more people into the mall by creating free community areas which included a unit with several ping-pong tables that shoppers could pop in and have a go at their leisure, a music room with a piano and various percussion instruments, and an honesty library where shoppers could exchange an old book for a new one, but this would ultimately do very little to drive the numbers of new visitors that would be needed to revitalise the site. 

With the only other bowling alley in Norwich being located away from the very centre of the city by the train station, Superbowl UK looks to become the main attraction of Castle Quarter, and it’s hoped that new visitors will be drawn back again and again by the convenience of the city centre setting and the wider variety of things to do. The tag line being used through the marketing for Castle Quarter is ‘Shop. Dine. Watch. Play’ reflecting the sites broad appeal – a cinema, a number of different restaurants and retail outlets and major entertainment venues all under one roof. 

The grand opening of The Castle Quarter is this Saturday, 28th September from midday to 6pm. In another move surely geared towards introducing the new look mall to a younger audience, the centre is due to he opened by Love Island star and Norwich local Sam Bird, who will be sticking around to meet fans after the main event. The party is open to all and includes a number of free activities designed to give everyone a taste of what Castle Quarter has to offer since the investment and rebrand. 

Only time will tell if Castle Quarter can truly beat the downturn of the British high street by successfully diversifying and finding the right balance between modernising and keeping their loyal customer base happy. What cannot be denied is how positive large investments like this are for Norwich – the creation of jobs and improvement of facilities of all kind for local people is what contributes to Norwich being consistently voted one of the best places to live in the UK! 

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