Go-ahead for £500m Oxford Westgate centre

Oxford Westgate centreWork to redevelop Oxford’s Westgate centre with a £500 million shopping complex that will create jobs and build new homes is set get underway in the New Year.

Laing O’Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine are understood to have submitted bids for the 800,000 sq ft retail-led scheme, which is expected to take three years to build and create tousands of jobs.

The city’s shopping centre overhaul cleared the final planning hurdle yesterday when local councillors granted detailed planning for the scheme to build a new underground car park, shops, restaurants, a cinema and 59 new homes.

Developer Westgate Alliance, a partnership formed by Land Securities and The Crown Estate, are pressing ahead with tender evaluation and are expected to select the winner before the end of the year.

The job involves demolition of the southern part of the Westgate Centre, a multi-storey car park and existing residential accommodation.

This will make way for covered walkways of new retail space in four blocks holding around 70 new shops, anchored by a major John Lewis department store.

Sara Fuge, development manager, Westgate Oxford Alliance, said: “We have been working hard over the last four years with local stakeholders to develop a scheme to deliver a world-class retail and leisure destination for Oxford and now look forward to starting work early next year.’

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