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Forestside chief takes on new job

The manager of a Belfast shopping centre is to take over one of the UK's biggest out-of-town shopping parks.

Adrian Young has been appointed as the new manager of Fosse Shopping Park in Leicester after running Forestside Shopping Centre in Newtownbreda since it opened in 1998.

He will take control of the 400,000 square foot Leicestershire park in January 2012.

Forestside claims to have been fully let since it first opened its doors with an offering that included the first Sainsbury's supermarket opened in Northern Ireland along with a Marks and Spencer.

And the site is said to be performing well for its tenants.

Mr Young said that with four shopping days in 2011 still to go, every retailer in Forestside has already surpassed their December sales targets with some even hitting their goals well before Christmas.

"I'm sad to be leaving the Northern Ireland retailing market which has been such a big part of my life since joining Dunnes Stores and then moving on to Forestside but I'm now looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in Leicester," Mr Young said.

Retail analyst Donald McFettridge from the Ulster Business School at the University of Ulster said the centre had always been "overshopped" with the likes of Sainsbury's having to look to other sites to expand.

Indeed, in response to demand the centre recently had to build a multistorey car park.

Before taking the helm at Forestside Mr Young was a textiles manager with Dunnes Stores for over 13 years.

He is currently chairman of the Northern Ireland Region of Shopping Centres and Chair of Shop Mobility Belfast, both posts he will relinquish at the end of 2011.

The Fosse Shopping Park opened in 1989 and is said to command the highest rental value per square foot of any UK retail park.