The Princesshay scheme, scheduled for completion in autumn 2007, will provide 430,000 sq ft (39,950 sq m) of fully integrated retail space, with more than 50 shop units, restaurants and 320-space car park.
Debenhams is taking the 140,000 sq ft (13,005 sq m) anchor store, while Next has exchanged contracts for a 46,250 sq ft (4,295 sq m) store. The deals mean that 35 per cent of the retail space has been taken.
Commenting on Virgin, Land Securities retail leasing director John Grimes said: 'Canterbury and Exeter are two of the highest-profile mixed-use retail developments within historic cities in the UK. Virgin will have a major opportunity to develop a competitive retail strategy using its retail estate as advertising.'