8:20am Thursday 22nd March 2012 in Leader
Welcome news this week of a proposed £6m revamp for Oxford’s Clarendon Centre. Lothbury Investment Management, which manages the centre, said building work could begin in June, with the new units completed by October 2013, and fashion chain H&M opening early in 2014.
And there is good news too about new investment coming soon into Witney. This week it was announced that Merlins, in Welch Way, could be knocked down to build five new stores.
Developer Realis Estates has submitted a planning application and says it has received significant interest from fashion and lifestyle retailers and caterers.
The new stores would be warmly welcomed by shoppers and are further proof that Witney’s retail economy is booming.
With big name stores in Marriotts Walk and the Woolgate Centre, the town is becoming not just the premier shopping destination in West Oxfordshire, but a key attraction for shoppers outside the district. High parking charges in Oxford are a constant bugbear of shoppers and countless people have cited the free parking in Witney as one of their main reasons for shopping in the town.
Welch Way been through a transformation in recent years, with Marriotts Walk opening in 2009 and both the Windrush Health Centre and Abingdon and Witney College going through expansions.
The street is beginning to look fantastic, but there are a couple of areas which are old and now look out of place, and Merlins is one of them.
This has to be great news for the town. It would be nice to be able to report similar progress soon for shoppers in Oxford.