Fish fair gives taster of new shopping centre at former Romford Debenhams

The new Aklu Plaza shopping mall in the former Debenhams are running a fish mela. Aklu Miah who runs

Aklu Miah (centre) with some staff members at the fish mela - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Customers have been given a taste of what to expect from the new Aklu Plaza, which is to fill the former Romford Debenhams store.

A fish mela, meaning fair, took place at the Market Place shop between November 15 and 21.

The new Aklu Plaza shopping mall in the former Debenhams are running a fish mela.Picture by Ellie H

Customers had the chance to shop at the store, which is due to open as Aklu Plaza shopping mall in early 2022 - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Dubbed Europe's biggest by organisers, it was put on after the opening of the shopping centre was delayed until next year.

The new Aklu Plaza shopping mall in the former Debenhams are running a fish mela. Ella Hewitt from S

Ella Hewitt from Shana Foods handing out samples - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Debenhams closed its branch of the department store in May after more than 60 years in the town centre.

The new Aklu Plaza shopping mall in the former Debenhams are running a fish mela. Aklu Miah who runs

Aklu Miah (front left) holds the fair's biggest fish with Shamim Ahmed, Shuvo and Monza Ahmed. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

The Recorder spoke to Aklu Plaza's chairman Aklu Miah in September about his plans to turn the unit into a shopping centre.

The new Aklu Plaza shopping mall in the former Debenhams are running a fish mela.
Picture by Ellie H

Home Superstore selling world food and household essentials is set to operate on the ground floor of the Aklu Plaza from early next year - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

He hoped to open the flagship brand Home Superstore by Christmas, but a spokesperson later said supply chain issues and staff shortages had pushed the date back to early 2022.

The new Aklu Plaza shopping mall in the former Debenhams are running a fish mela.
Picture by Ellie H

The fish fair was labelled Europe's biggest by organisers - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

When fully open, Aklu Plaza will also include outlets selling items ranging from Indian clothing to jewellery and cosmetics, as well as a global food court, children's play area and prayer room.

The new Aklu Plaza shopping mall in the former Debenhams are running a fish mela.
Picture by Ellie H

The fish mela took place between November 15 and 21 - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

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