Category:Churchill Square Shopping Centre

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The Churchill Square Shopping Centre is located on the south side of Western Road, within sight of the Clock Tower.

The current incarnation of Churchill Square was built in the late 1990s. An earlier open-air version was built in the 1960s and was accompanied by some very 1960s-looking tower blocks, which don't seem to have been missed when they went.

Original development

The shopping centre was created on previously developed land on the South side of Western Road, extending south to the rear of the Grand Hotel, and between Cannon Place on the West and Russell Street on the East.

Descriptions of this first incarnation of the shopping centre tend to fixate on how bleak and windswept it felt (and how unpopular it was towards the end), but it does seem to have had some interesting sculptures.


Most of the shops are very conventional high-street chainstores but the Centre also has an Apple Store and a Lego Store (lower level, by the stairs and lifts). Further back from the Lego store is a general toystore, The Entertainer.

The Centre's two-storey W H Smith stationers houses a Post Office and Bureau de Change. This is Brighton's main Post Office for sending parcels and can get quite busy.

Departed tenants

The Centre used to include a two-storey Borders bookshop with a nice cafe upstairs, and a rather cool Habitat store, before both national chains unfortunately got into financial difficulties and closed their stores.


One of the largest tenants by area, the department store Debenhams, went bust during the COVID-19 epidemic, and finally announced its liquidation in December 2020. the new brand owners only wanted an online business, so all Debenhams high street shops closed. The Churchill Square branch finally shut its doors on May 15, 2021, and the space remained unoccupied for over two years.

With Debenhams closed, its space was used as a high-traffic COVID-19 vaccination centre.

Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins announced the closures of their Churchill Square shops early in the pandemic.

Paperchase were another casualty of the pandemic, with Tesco buying the name in January 2023, but not wanting the high street stores, and "Lakeland" closed their Brighton shop.

2023: Purchase by Ikea

After the Debenhams space has remained empty for over two years, the whole complex was bought by IKEA, the idea being that as well as being the new landlords, Ikea themselves would create a new store in the Debenhams space.

IKEA to open new City Store in Brighton

Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group, has today announced the freehold acquisition of Brighton’s main shopping centre, Churchill Square. With the acquisition complete, IKEA UK, also part of the Ingka Group, confirms its plans to bring a brand-new IKEA City store to the popular site, which will become the 23rd IKEA store in the UK.

The new IKEA City store will open on the site of the former Debenhams ...

The new IKEA City store will offer a wide array of the brand's most loved products: approximately 6,000 on display with 3,000 available for immediate purchase, and the full range available for delivery via zero-emission vehicles. In-store planning services will support customers' kitchen, bedroom and bathroom planning needs, with a Swedish Deli also forming a part of the two-storey store; ensuring that the retailer’s iconic meatballs (and plant-based equivalent) will also be available.

Ingka Centres has also acquired Chartwell Court, a residential tower block on the site, two attached car parks and a leasehold on a third car park. Ingka Centres intends to develop Churchill Square’s strong retail fundamentals by adapting its retail offer to community needs and to invest in Churchill Square’s infrastructure to play a part in supporting Brighton and Hove City Council’s drive to establish a thriving local circular economy. Future investments will include improvements to energy efficiency to bring the asset up to BREEAM excellent standards while a wider roadmap of initiatives is planned to reflect Ingka Centres global sustainability commitment.

— , IKEA, , Press Release, , 13 November 2023

As the new owners, Ikea effectively solved the problem of the unlet Debenhams space by installing themselves as new tenants.

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