GraVity in plan to expand to countries in Europe

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Trampoline park operator GraVity has unveiled plans to expand into continental Europe.

The Castleford-based firm has instructed agent Savills to lead its expansion into Europe, with plans to open sites in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland and Poland as well as other targeted European countries now well underway.

As part of the expansion plan GraVity is seeking potential sites of between 15,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft which it wants to target in large scale leisure schemes, shopping centres and retail parks.

A spokesperson for the business said it is focussed on all major markets, particularly those in prime urban areas and regional shopping and leisure venues.

The expansion plan follows six successful venues established by the chain to date including Xscape, at Castleford in West Yorkshire, St Stephen’s Shopping Centre in Hull and The Soar at Glasgow and Edinburgh Fountain Park.

A further two are in development at Bluewater in Kent and Xscape in Milton Keynes, both of which are due to open before the end of the year.

All current locations are within high footfall retail and leisure schemes in the UK.

Harvey Jenkinson, chief executive of GraVity, said: “Our property strategy has been a key part of our success to date.

“We look to partner with the landlords and developers of major retail and leisure schemes and venues, and see the Gravity offer as an integral part of the overall leisure mix.

“This is in contrast to the cost-focused, standalone approach adopted by many local or less brand focused operators.”

In terms of the requirement for its prospective European sites, GraVity wishes to have sites with a minimum eaves height of 5.2 metres for at least 12,000 sq ft (1,115 sq m) of the internal floor space.

Steve Henderson, retail director at Savills, said: “GraVity has undergone phenomenal success in the UK since its launch in 2014 and also has a proven track record of boosting sales and footfall for surrounding operators at the schemes in which it is located. We are excited to be taking the brand into mainland Europe for the first time and look forward to announcing details of deals secured in the near future.”

Both GraVity and Savills will be attending MAPIC, Europe’s largest retail and leisure trade event, in November to launch the search for new sites and meet major European shopping centre landlord.

Larry Brennan, head of European retail agency at Savills, says: “We are delighted to partner with Gravity for its European roll-out.

“The firm is not only well-backed financially, but is led by a fantastic management team.

“We have found them extremely flexible and inventive in their approach to opportunities as long as the business case stands and the minimum requirements, most importantly height, can be achieved.”

The revelation of the expansion plan comes after Gravity agreed a £5m investment package from an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) fund through Guinness Asset Management.

At the time of signing the deal with Guinness Asset Management, Gravity’s bosses had said the next step was expansion at home and abroad as well as improvements to existing sites.