Part of a Cowley shopping centre is to undergo a £3.5m redevelopment. The Templars Retail Park in Between Towns Road is to have three new café/restaurants and a ‘piazza’ landscaped area with work due to start by the autumn.

And, as part of the deal, developers have donated £10,000 to boost safety for a walkway through to a nearby park.

The cafés will be built on the site of the B&Q store alongside a new Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Although no operators for the cafés have been signed up yet, they are like to be national chains, according to architects The Harris Partnership. Gary Humphreys, who heads up the Milton Keynes office of The Harris Partnership, 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.”

Other facilities will include improved car parking and a secure facility for 28 bicycles. The development has been welcomed by Cowley councillor Shah Khan.

He said: “I am particularly pleased because £10,000 has been given towards improving lighting and general safety for a walkway to the John Allen park behind Matalan.

A wall which borders the site will be relocated and a garden created on a grassed area at the corner of Between Towns Road and Rymers Lane, beyond the existing perimeter fence. It is estimated work will be completed by summer next year, with work on the neighbouring Sainsbury’s set 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.”