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New restaurants on menu for retail park
WORK on a £3.5m shopping centre redevelopment in Oxford will start this autumn.
The Templars Retail Park, in Between Towns Road, Cowley, will get three new cafe/restaurants and a landscaped piazza area.
As part of the deal, developers have donated £10,000 to enhance a walkway through to a nearby park.
The cafes will be built on the site of the B&Q DIY store, alongside a new Sainsbury’s supermarket.
Although no operators for the cafes have been signed up yet, they are like to be national chains, according to the scheme’s architects, the Harris Partnership.
Gary Humphreys, who heads the Milton Keynes office of the firm, said: “The new-look park will have a contemporary feel and will boast an upbeat fashionable leisure element that will see shoppers eating and relaxing as part of their retail experience.
“It will also attract people who simply want to dine in a pleasant green environment.”
Other facilities will include improved car parking and secure cycle parking. The development has been welcomed by Cowley ward city councillor Shah Khan.
He said: “I’m particularly pleased because £10,000 has been given towards improving lighting and general safety for a walkway to the John Allen Park behind Matalan.
“The restaurants are also welcome, as they will give people more choice and will create jobs.”
A wall which borders the site and once belonged to agricultural machinery manufacturer John Allen & Sons, will be moved and a garden created on a grassed area at the corner of Between Towns Road and Rymers Lane, beyond the existing boundary fence.
The project is expected to be completed by summer next year, with work on the neighbouring Sainsbury’s supermarket due to be finished early in 2014.
Mr Humphreys added: “When complete, the new-look Templars will be an uplifting environment that blends an historic past with a modern feel.”
Last year, a new Asda Living store opened at the retail park, creating 80 jobs.