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City shopping mall gets set for a bright and busy 2014
THIS is the vision for how a major redevelopment of a shopping centre in Oxford city centre will look once it is open to the public.
Construction work on extending the Clarendon Centre in the city centre has now been completed and a new H&M shop will open early next year.
Work on the £6m redevelopment was started in May 2012 and was designed to attract major retailers.
A former Currys Digital shop has been demolished to make way for a large three-storey branch of the fashion retailer .
The refurbishment means the centre is growing in size by 10 per cent.
As part of the revamp, Currys Digital and PC World have moved locations across the centre to the site formerly occupied by the River Island store.
Chris Farren, of the Covered Market Traders Association, said: “The whole scheme for the regeneration of Oxford is going ahead over the next few years and will be pretty full on.
“We can only hope that these schemes draw more people in.
“It is one of the reasons I am quite pleased the city council is doing something with the Covered Market so we can at least compete with the big schemes which are going on.”
An array of photovoltaic panels have been integrated into the north-facing roof lights of the development in order to generate electricity for the development as well as deliver natural light to its top floor.
Ben Bowley from architects Marchini Curran Associates said: “The Clarendon Centre represents prime retail space in Oxford and so this has been an exciting and important piece of work for us.
“As part of the project, we have also regenerated the mall’s atrium, which has brought it a new lease of life, making it a much lighter and brighter place to shop.
“We are confident that the changes to the centre will reinforce its position as a key retail destination within Oxford and we look forward to seeing the new H&M store bustling with shoppers.”
The scheme is part of the overhaul of retail facilities in the city in the pipeline.
If approved, the plans will see the construction of a shopping centre with all-new underground car parking space of 1,100 places, a large department store and a cinema, as well as 72,000 square metres of new retail space.
The management of the Clarendon Centre did not comment last night.
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