Rushmere owners launch bid to revive former Sainsbury’s unit with six shops and restaurants

A 24-hour gym is also part of Killahoey’s plans for the vacant 55,000 sq ft anchor unit

Rushmere Shopping Centre in Craigavon was sold for £46.5 million in February 2023.
The former Sainsbury's store at the Rushmere Shopping Centre in Craigavon will be redeveloped into eight new units under plans by its new owners.

The new owner of Rushmere will transform the former Sainsbury’s store at the Co Armagh shopping centre into seven new outlets, it has emerged.

The £1.8 million investment plan by Killahoey Limited will involve three new retail stores, three restaurants and a gym, creating around 73 jobs.

Sainsbury’s closed its 55,000 sq ft store at the retail complex in February 2022 with the loss of 97 jobs.

Killahoey bought the Rushmere centre out of administration for £46.5m just 12 months later.

The consortium, headed by DV8 owner and Co Armagh native, Ian McMahon, is progressing a £10m upgrade of the complex, with new floors, finishes, toilets and a new entrance part of the plans.

The shopping centre has been boosted in the last 18 months with Primark opening a new anchor store, while Waterstones and Miniso have also moved in.

More live entertainment and events have also been introduced a bid to revive the site.

The former Sainsbury’s unit is next on its list, with a new planning application lodged with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The space has now been vacant for more than two years.

The new plans include a 10,000 sq ft retail unit, with two smaller 4,400 sq ft and 5,000 sq ft shops.

It’s understood JD Sports will take on the largest unit, significantly expanding its footprint at the centre.

The proposed gym will be around 11,500 sq ft, with plans to operate it on a 24-hour basis.

New offices are also planned for the space.

Two of the shops and the three restaurants will have entrances from the car park

Originally built in 1976, Rushmere was developed in the 1990s with a phase two extension completed in 1998.

A third phase was added in 2004, with an extension for restaurant units added in 2018.

The entire site, including the adjoining retail park, is home to 65 tenants, with parking for 1,800 vehicles.

The site is set to expand further under a proposal from Lidl to relocate its Craigavon store to the former Sainsbury’s fuel forecourt site at Rushmere.

The German retailer announced its bid for a new 27,000 sq ft supermarket in Craigavon in February.