Bluewater’s purpose-built exhibition and events venue, Glow, is to close after just three years.
As reported by Exhibition News last year, London-based commercial property developer, Land Securities Group, acquired Australian rival Lend Lease’s 30 per cent stake in the Bluewater shopping centre.
The £696m ($1.2bn) acquisition included full asset management rights for the centre and 110 acres of surrounding land for £40m, as well as accompanying venue, Glow. It was understood that the new owner had placed the business under review and would not take any tenancy bookings for exhibitions and events after February 2015.
According to local Kent press reports, Glow, home to the Wedding Fair, Pet Expo and Show and Glow was being closed as it had failed to meet Bluewater’s ‘high expectations’.
A spokesperson from Bluewater said: “We continually review every aspect of Bluewater to ensure it leads the industry, delivers a unique guest experience, and achieves commercial success that is second-to-none.
“Whilst welcoming more than two million people in three years, Glow did not meet these high expectations.
“Detailed discussions are already underway with a number of leading brands and exciting concepts to create an offer within the space that adds significantly to Bluewater’s unique day-out experience, and delivers an experience 365 days a year, rather than the less frequent nature of standalone events.
“We also remain committed to running events and unique experiences at Bluewater, so are investigating a number of options that will allow Bluewater to continue to offer the very best of what Glow provided, from the Winter Wonderland to consumer shows that complement our wider offer and experience.”
The £60 million development by Lend Lease was the first purpose-built venue of its kind in Europe. It boasted 5,200sqm of flexible events space combining two halls, and a 296sqm private VIP gallery area.
Got a news story for Exhibition News? Email Annie Byrne