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LONDON-Construction has started on one of the last factory outlet schemes planned for the UK – the 13,500 sq m Dockside Outlet Centre at Chatham in Kent. Dockside Developments, formed by three former executives from construction group Tarmac, is converting the grade II listed Boiler Shop in the former Chatham Naval Dockyard. The cast iron structure, dating from 1847was one of the earliest works of Fox Henderson, designers of the Crystal Palace.

Completion is scheduled for March 2003 and letting agents are Insignia Richard Ellis and David Allen Assoociates – the new venture from former BAA McArthurGlen leasing director David Allen. IRE director Louise Songeur said the scheme is one of the last big opportunities in the UK, which in some areas is oversupplied with outlet space. She estimates the scheme will draw on a catchment of 5.9 milion people to the south and east of London.

Development finance for the project has been provided through an Enterprise Zone Trust tax shelter scheme, sponsored by Matrix Securities. Drivers Jonas advised the fund.

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