Big brand shops to move into town

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 July 2011

View of, High St shop front signs, WsM.; 14-1-09

View of, High St shop front signs, WsM.; 14-1-09

Copyright Archant Ltd

RETAIL giants Debenhams, Primark and River Island are in final negotiations to move into the multi-million pound Dolphin Square redevelopment in Weston, the Mercury can exclusively reveal.

Following years of speculation over whether the three top names could open shops in town, the High Street chains are among those understood to have reserved their spots in the £35million regeneration project.

The exciting news comes just a week after developer McLaren Life promised work on revamping the tired shopping area is about to start ‘imminently’.

Keen shoppers in Weston have been calling for the three popular retail stores to open outlets in town for several years and the Mercury understands contracts all three could be signed any day.

Primark is set to open on the Oxford Street side of the shopping centre, which is also going to feature an eight-screen Vue cinema, Anytime Fitness, 16-lane bowling alley and 112-bedroom Premier Inn hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant.

While Debenhams plans to take up a two-floor position adjacent to Carlton Street and become the anchor store for the site, drawing in shoppers to the other outlets.

Other spaces will be filled by River Island, Next, New Look and restaurants Pizza Express, Nandos, Prezzo, Harvester and Costa Coffee, although their exact location in the development is unknown at this stage .

Members of North Somerset Council’s west area committee voted unanimously to approve the proposed rebuild of Dolphin Square at a meeting in April.

Councillors spoke of their delight at the ‘long-awaited’ regeneration of the site and hoped for strong commercial interest which would help revive the town centre.

McLaren Life says work on the first part of the project, the hotel and restaurant on Beach Road car park will be followed by the expansion of Carlton Street car park in November and then the rebuild of Dolphin Square shopping centre next year.

The whole scheme is set for a targeted finish of spring 2013.

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