Kilmore Village shopping centre has now been a part of the community for one year. ​

By Tricia Mifsud

COMMUNITY involvement was at the forefront of Kilmore Village’s operation managers when reflecting on the shopping centre’s first year of operation.

The centre celebrated its first birthday in April, acknowledging shop tenants and the community for embracing the new community hub.

Operations manager Garrath Holdstock said Kilmore Village was purposed to provide more than just a shopping experience, but a place the community could gather to socialise.

“We’ve done these neighbourhood centres before and for them to do well, they have to offer more than a supermarket and pharmacy. They have to offer a bit of [community] experience for people and a point of difference,” he said.

“We want to offer a bit more and give back to the community – we sponsor the local sporting clubs, and it’s important to us. We think the community pays it back by choosing to shop at Kilmore Village.”

Mr Holdstock said the first year of operation went quite well despite unexpected interruptions due to COVID-19.

“Largely the first year went well. We probably thought opening April last year we’d have less impact from COVID-19, but it still seemed to continue and at stages we had shuts down and weren’t able to trade or had to resort to only takeout,” he said.

“Other than that, the centre was really well received by the community, and everyone seemed to get around us.

“I think people have liked the fact that’s it’s an easier destination to park and come in. Traders like the pharmacy has noticed that as well with the ease of parking, traffic into the store has increased.”

Not-for-profit groups have also made use of the space and centre manager Ana Zammit encouraged other groups to reach out if they were interested in using the space.

“I had some feedback from local groups that Kilmore didn’t have that sort of space before, and they’ve enjoyed being able to come together [at Kilmore Village],” she said.

“Giving them the opportunity to be allocated a day and come out on the property and do the community thing is equally as important.

“All local community groups have to do is give us a call and we will be more than happy to accommodate for them too.”

Mr Holdstock said due to land limitations, Kilmore Village does not plan to expand in the near future but continued to find ways to maximise the space already occupied.

“The land that we have there is fully utilised so it would depend on acquiring more land next to it but there are no plans at the moment,” he said.

“For the short to medium term, the centre’s current footprint will remain the way it is, but should tenants move on then we can look at tenant mix up and what else we could provide at the centre.”

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