AS discussed in the review of the leisure sector earlier in this supplement, the need for operators and landlords to keep ahead of the game, both in terms of their customer offering and providing a welcoming and attractive environment, is leading to an increased emphasis being placed on the look and feel of a venue as a way to secure financial stability.
Architecture and interior design is increasingly becoming a vital part of asset management, as leisure premises compete to attract customers through innovatively designed environments.
Landlords are aware that it’s a fine balancing act between creating the right atmosphere for your target market and not alienating any other potential interest.
Recently, we have witnessed the need for many properties to re-brand in order to survive and in doing so, much more than just the signage on the front is being changed, with special attention being paid to the smallest, yet most important, of details.
The results from our specialist architecture team are increasingly creative and innovative, as our clients are prepared to be bold in their style choices in order to create great kerb appeal and interiors. Gone are the days where cream walls and a bit of low lighting is sufficient to attract the masses.
Of late, designs have taken inspiration from many of the high street fashion houses and ultimately vice versa.
The interior of bars and clubs in particular are far more daring as they strive to capture and keep the customer in unique environments.
A great local example of this cross-sector similarity is Urban Outfitters on Newcastle’s Grainger Street and Madame Koo on Collingwood Street, both of which exude that very cool, urban and deconstructed on-trend style.
Yes, getting the menu, choice of drinks and service right are more crucial than ever. However, savvy operators know that every aspect, from the moment you walk through the door, can make the difference and position their establishments as the new, must-visit location.
When it comes to the let or sale of a leisure property, many owners and investors have realised that to attract the best tenants and offers, more than a coat of paint will be required.
Commissioning a designer to reconfigure a licensed space into a contemporary environment can pay dividends in the long term and will no doubt lead to a more attractive and commercially successful property.
:: Lee Sanderson, associate partner, architecture department, for and on behalf of Sanderson Weatherall LLP, 0191 269 0176.