Hanningtons Lane

Shopping in The Lanes is reinvigorated by Hanningtons Brighton

Revitalising city centres for the 21st century 

Shopping in Brighton at Hanningtons’ stores and on Hanningtons Lane

We’re often told that traditional city centres are slowly dying. This, along with the sense of identity and community which come with them. While it’s true that many high streets across the nation are shadows of their former selves, other towns and cities are adapting. We are changing consumer habits and providing something which is both authentic and accessible.

One such shopping success story is Hanningtons Brighton. A new leisure district connecting North Road with the historic The Lanes. It’s thrived by providing a more interesting selection than anodyne out-of-town retail parks. There is a level of personal service which you will never get online.

The area takes its name from a landmark department store. It drew millions of customers to the corner of East Street and North Street for almost two centuries. Large shops like this evolved across Europe to fulfil the demands of a newly affluent middle-class. Consumers were thrilled at finding everything from a fur hat to a teak sideboard under a single roof. 

Renowned for innovative window displays and enabled by a sudden rise in international trade during the industrial revolution. These glamorous emporiums gave customers a chance to buy items from all around the world. The promise of shopping choice saw them become a commercial and cultural phenomenon.

Rich with shopping history

At one time, Hanningtons department store was selling everything from fashion and beauty products to clocks and homeware. Also, they were operating an extensive limousine fleet, funeral parlour, carpet cleaning service, restaurant and even a hairdressers. 

But consumer tastes evolved. Shoppers began to be lured away from Britain’s high streets by the ‘convenience’ of outlying shopping centres. After going into decline since the 70s, Hanningtons the department store closed in 2001. 

After some extensive and considerate refurbishment of the original building, it started to welcome iconic brands like Kurt Geiger. They carried on the tradition of the space offering leading edge fashion. The area renamed as Hanningtons Brighton; plans were drawn up to reinvigorate a tired and overlooked corner of The Lanes. 

Then came Hanningtons Lane

Behind the old department store site was a disused service yard and an abandoned cottage of considerable architectural significance. A £150 million scheme created Hanningtons Lane. It revealed extra space and established a link between the lower end of North Street. These were a once-secluded corner of Brighton’s most famous shopping district. Designed by renowned local architect Morgan Carn, Hanningtons Lane has become a prime destination for shoppers. Especially those looking for something a bit individual.

The developers, Redevco, are a guiding light in the transformation of urban areas. Across Europe they’re ensuring city centres can become sustainable and liveable, while still maintaining a link with their heritage. 

Redevco Asset Manager, Chris Baker, is unequivocal about his company’s mission. To create better places to live, work, shop or play.

“The Hanningtons Estate has a rich history and some parts of our ownership date back hundreds of years. That is a great indication of the ability for buildings to adapt to how people need and want to use them. Redevco’s development is the latest in a long history of the estate’s ability to adapt to new habits and trends. Now more than ever it is important that any development considers its contribution, sustainability and future impact. That is something that really drives Redevco and is forefront in everything we do.”

A once forgotten space is now a bustling retail and cultural quarter. It is lined by shops, eateries, boutiques, art galleries and coffee shops.

The project has been accompanied by the regeneration of shops and offices on both North Street and East Street. Also, with new residential spaces, bringing a bright new attitude to the entire area.

The North Street side of the area hosts internationally-renowned brands. These include Oliver Bonas, Lush, Lululemon, Sandro and Maje, The White Company, Habitat, Flying Tiger, Watches of Switzerland and Hotel Chocolat. The stroll down Hanningtons Lane greets visitors with imaginative and inspiring independents. Included are &halt, Pod, Phohm, Sorriso, BouSham, Paxton+Glew, Cult Hero, Abi-K, Stanley Road Store, Frames in the Lanes and Finisterre.

This calm and welcoming area also hosts Brighton & Hove’s newest foodie hub. Gastronomes of all persuasions can find the freshest seafood at Riddle & Finns’ champagne and oysters bar. Or, unsurpassed small plates at Flint House; uncompromising vegan burgers from Vurger, Brass Monkey’s handmade ice cream and 17_Grams’ coffee.

Abi-K window display

Vurger co. featured in our Guide of Places to Find Vegan Fast Food

The new buildings on the site have all been sympathetically designed. Clever use of colour and local materials means that each new shop or restaurant effortlessly blends in with the rich historic nature of the area. It was vital for Hanningtons Brighton to preserve the character of The Lanes. Characterisng a neighbourhood containing some of Brighton’s oldest buildings, while also providing a retail experience suitable for a 21st century city.

“We’ve worked very hard to deliver a development and a regeneration at Hanningtons that works with the existing identity of Brighton & Hove; with the surrounding built environment and looks to contribute to the future of this wonderful city,” Baker tells me.

A reinvigoration of shopping in The Lanes

While people are shopping online more, projects like Hanningtons Brighton invigorate town centres by creating mixed-use spaces – offering a broad variety of unique experiences. “People live with us, shop and eat with us, work in our offices and generally spend time with us. Places which consider the people that use them will invariably contribute to the vibrancy and relevance of where they are.” Cities are evolving all the time, but rather than being sterile and uninspiring they can play a major role in contributing to well-being – for both community and planet.

The project has also rebuilt an authentic sense of ‘belonging’ in the area, with many business owners living and working in Hanningtons Lane. “Creating community is incredibly important and is something we want to continue to deliver and improve,” says Baker. “Over the last couple of years in particular, we have started to develop a really strong sense of identity here. Retailers are excited to be part of it and to contribute. Brands are generally more active than ever on social media and generate genuine engagement with consumers. This is about creating true and fair partnerships for brands, consumers and our tenants. Finding the best way to be relevant and create value for each other is the way forward.”

Hanningtons Brighton and Hanningtons Lane are open every day. For more information, including details of their exciting events and special pop-up shops, please visit: www.hanningtonsbrighton.com 

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