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Weston-super-Mare's £45m square revamp 'to draw top retailers'

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: March 26, 2012

  • An artists's impression of how the revamped Dolphin Square could look

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Developers behind a multi-million pound scheme to redevelop a rundown part of Weston-super-Mare say they are confident of attracting new retailers to the scheme.

Work started on a £45 million scheme to transform Dolphin Square and turn it into a shopping complex complete with hotel, cinema and fitness club last summer.

Although major retailers such as Debenhams, Primark and River Island were allegedly in negotiations to move into the development, no shop retailers have yet signed up to the scheme.

However leisure operators Vue Cinemas, Prezzo, First Bowl, Pizza Express, Nandos and Harvester have already been confirmed for the new square.

Developer McLaren Life, who bought the complex in December 2010, is confident of securing a range of quality retailers for the development and said talks with interested parties were ongoing.

McLaren Life spokesman Richard Evans said: “The development of Dolphin Square is on track.We are in talks with a lot of quality retailers about being part of the scheme but these negotiations do not happen overnight.

“Whilst no retailers have yet signed on the dotted line, discussions are positive and we are confident of attracting a range of quality retailers to the development.”

The redevelopment of the pedestrianised shopping precinct, which was built in the 1960s, is taking place in phases.

The first phase of the development includes a five-storey, 112-bed hotel with Brewers Fayre restaurant at the corner of Carlton Street and Beach Road due to be completed this spring.

The second phase is the construction of a £3.7 million car park on the existing Carlton Street car park.

The existing Dolphin Square buildings are being demolished and replaced by a multi-use retail and leisure complex including an eight-screen multiplex cinema, 10-pin bowling centre, health and fitness suite, restaurants, cafes and retail units.

The scheme, which is expected to be completed by early summer 2013, is expected to create around 400 jobs for the town.

Archaeological tests have been carried out on the site ahead of work starting and piling work for the new 380 space car park, expected to take around five weeks, is now under way.

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