Take a look inside new leisure terrace at Rushden Lakes

Paul Rich on the roof of the new leisure terrace
Paul Rich on the roof of the new leisure terrace

Phase one of Rushden Lakes has been open for 15 months now, with its shops and restaurants attracting more than four million visiitors in the first year.

But the multi-million pound retail and leisure scheme is constantly changing and there is plenty more to look forward to in the coming months.

The atrium of the new leisure terrace at Rushden Lakes

The atrium of the new leisure terrace at Rushden Lakes

Phase three, the retail terrace including Hobbycraft, Wren Kitchens and Decathlon, recently opened and work is now progressing on the leisure terrace and the garden square.

Those who regularly use the A45 will have noticed the L-shaped building taking shape, including reflective cladding at the top to help the building blend into the sky, but what’s going on inside and when will it be open to the public?

The Northants Telegraph was given a tour of the latest addition to the site, with the 14-screen Cineworld cinema being at the heart of it.

Its many screens are already taking shape, with the steelwork in place and seating areas going in ahead of it opening in June 2019.

The projection gallery is getting ready to show the latest blockbusters from next summer.

And while the cinema will be a big draw to people from Rushden and the surrounding area, the leisure zone will also house a soft play area, climbing area, indoor golf and a trampoline centre with a terrace overlooking the lake.

More restaurants are on the way too, with American fast-food chain Five Guys being the first to open earlier this week.

Nando’s will be serving its chicken-based menu from another of these units from early December.

Other names including Zizzi, Chiquito, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and TGI Fridays will also be joining the line-up soon.

Looking ahead to the new units opening, Paul Rich, centre manager at Rushden Lakes, said: “It should be extremely busy between March and June.”

This new area also includes additional parking, with an extra 160 spaces due to be available from this week and a further 250 spaces next year.

Work has also started on the garden square opposite the new terrace.

Mr Rich said: “The garden square is likely to open around June-time, the same time as the cinema.

“12 units are being constructed, including a jewellers going in there.

“It takes the form of an L-shape.

“There will be lots of planting, it will be a really nice place to relax and unwind.

“A number of units have been pre-let so far.”

Retailers including Wagamama, Bill’s and Magazine Heaven have been doing really well at Rushden Lakes, but Mr Rich is looking forward to seeing the impact of the new food and beverage outlets on the way.

He says the development is much more than shopping now, with people also visiting to eat out, take a walk around the lake and soon they can catch a film or use the new leisure facilities.

They have seen a change in visitors’ habits, with an increase in the number of people visiting late afternoon and into the evening for some shopping as well as a bite to eat.

And he is expecting this to increase further once more restaurants and the cinema are open.

It looks set to be a busy few months at Rushden Lakes and Mr Rich, who says he and his team are ‘lucky’ to work in such a unique setting, can’t wait to welcome each of these new retailers when they open for business.