The History of Belfry Shopping Centre
18 November 2023
Our busiest for many years Christmas Lights Switch On took place with over 24,000 visitors to the shopping centre and one lucky shopper winning £500 of Belfry shopping vouchers.
11 November 2023
We hosted our moving Remembrance Day service with local armed forces and the Mayor along with a 30,000 Poppy Drop. You can watch the YouTube footage here.
Later that day we celebrated Diwali with the Asian Social Group. The Mayor lit the Diya Lantern at noon, and the afternoon Diwali celebrations included dancing, music, crafts, henna, stalls, fabulous Asian food games and giveaways!
16 June 2023
The Belfry’s two-day launch extravaganza to celebrate the opening of Redhill’s fantastic new entertainment and leisure venue, The Light, on Marketfield Way. The Belfry also introduced late-night parking until midnight, with customers of The Light able to park for free after 6pm. The Belfry’s VIParking card was also introduced, giving frequent Belfry shoppers reduced parking rates and VIP retail offers in-Centre. #DestinationRedhill
6 May 2023
We joined the nation in celebrating the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort with a special extended weekend of events, entertainment and giveaways.
While many shopping centres and high street retailers faced the festive conundrum of whether to focus on Christmas or the World Cup, the Belfry scored an outright winner by celebrating both! Our famous annual Christmas lights switch-on event raised a fantastic £25,000 for 14 local charities.
Redhill Ventures Ltd c/o Landswood de Coy LLP acquired the Centre, marking a significant investment for the next generation.
The Belfry’s 30th birthday! Hundreds of people from the local community joined us for a whole weekend of free fun celebrations, entertainment, prize competitions and, of course, birthday cake!
The Belfry brought Hollywood sparkle to Christmas with our first Drive-in Cinema! Everyone was treated to a festive movie screening with popcorn and snacks from the comfort of their own cars in our award-winning car park!
Saw the first National Lockdown with all but essential retailers having to close their doors. The Centre was one of the first to implement a real-time visitor count to keep customers safe as they shop and help plan visits during quieter times. The Belfry remained open every day of the pandemic thanks to our dedicated team.
A Free Ping Pong Parlour opened in the Centre offering free Ping Pong to all shoppers.
More than 3,000 children visited the Belfry Christmas Grotto – the highest number ever recorded at the Centre.
To celebrate our 25th birthday we held a Silver Jubilee party with a day of free celebrations for visitors, helped by several staff who have worked at the Centre for 25 years.
The Belfry received the Disabled Parking Accreditation Award, showing our commitment to lighting, signage, ease of access and payment machines for disabled users as well as enforcement of disabled parking bays.
The Centre was a finalist in the Interserve national recycling awards, after achieving our goal of sending zero rubbish to landfill in 2015 and reaching our target of recycling 100% of waste.
One lucky shopper won a car as part of a six-week event which raised more than £7,000 for local charities
Remembered 100 years from the start of the First World War with a commemorative timeline.
Following their acquisition of BTWShiells, Lambert Smith Hampton becomes the Managing Agents for the Belfry.
An amazing £16,000 was raised from the annual Belfry Remembrance Day poppy drop.
Celebrated 150 years of the Reigate and Redhill Municipal Borough with an authentic Victorian market and other nostalgic entertainment.
The Belfry celebrated its 21st birthday with a catwalk fashion show showcasing its fashion stores for the Face of the Belfry Competition, along with the Mayor.
Redhill proudly welcomed the Olympic torch through the town, celebrating with a summer of sport and in the Centre, a giant 4-meter Torch of Sustainability allowed visitors to fill it with recyclable materials.
Heavy snow meant that even Santa Claus couldn’t make it on his sledge to the Belfry’s Grotto for the day!
The Belfry’s current Centre Manager, Andy Nash, joined the team.
The Belfry transformed into the British seaside, complete with a beach for the summer holidays.
An ice rink was installed for the February half-term.
We welcomed our 10 millionth car park visitor!
Marks & Spencer underwent an extensive re-fit and relaunched the store with a stunning fashion show
Over £1 million was invested to improve the Centre’s shopping environment. Work included completely replacing all safety features, lighting and lifts, as well as improving support for disabled shoppers.
The Belfry fully switches to using 100% renewable energy.
Robert Dyas opened in the Belfry, enjoying the store’s most successful opening ever, based on the number of people visiting it on its opening day.
2004 – date
We have continuously won the PARK MARK® Safer Parking award, with our car park praised by Surrey Police and the British Parking Association for being a “safe and secure environment” that is well-managed and easy to use”.
The Belfry was the first shopping centre in the UK to achieve the internationally recognised ‘green’ accreditation ISO 14001, awarded for good environmental management.
The Belfry became the first shopping centre in England to have its own ‘museum’ due to the closure of the local Royal Earlswood Museum from the hospital. The Belfry stepped in to house and display the best and most interesting of the artefacts for over 14 years, including many works of James Henry Pullen ‘the idiot genius’, keeping the collection together and alive in the community. The Earlswood collection was relocated in July 2011 to a splendid, new, specialist museum at the Langdon Down Centre in TW11.
15th October 1991
The Belfry was officially opened by Joanna Lumley.
2nd May 1990
The Foundation Stone was unveiled by the Worshipful Mayor of Reigate & Banstead, Cllr Erica Dunsmore FCIS.
Construction starts by Costain Construction Ltd.
The Belfry was designed by Leslie Jones Architects and planning permission was granted for the Belfry at the end of 1987.
Did you know?
The ‘Bells’ of the Belfry (over the High Street entrance), which gave the Centre its name, are actually called ‘Ting and Tang’. They were saved from the old St Anne’s Workhouse, which was previously on the site where the original car park was located while the Centre was built.
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council originally owned half the car park site.
Sitting on Station Road, the external design was based on railway arches, internally giving a light, airy feel with its high glass atrium roofs.
The 50 stores within the Centre cover 250,000 square feet, with a further three storeys of car parking.
The Belfry also has the Tower House connected to it, accessed through the Car Park.
Redhill was shaped by three historic influences –
- Its location on the Brighton to London Road.
- The Fullers Earth clay industry.
- Its importance as a railway centre.
These led to it becoming an important Victorian Industrial centre.