Hundreds of jobs are to be created with a proposed £45 million transformation of a Peterborough shopping centre.
Bosses of Serpentine Green, in Hargate Way, Hampton, have unveiled plans for the modernisation of the southern section of the 19-year-old centre in a move that could provide 257 jobs.
The development will involve the creation of 11,359 square metres of leisure attractions, an extra 1,848 square metres of restaurants and cafes plus an array of modern retail units and the creation of a town square for outdoor events.
Leisure uses could include a gym, a bowling centre, a virtual reality experience and a children’s soft toy area.
The centre’s little-used Rotunda and the southern mall will be demolished and replaced by an equal amount of retail space providing high quality outward facing shops. The existing mall will also be refurbished.
The proposals have been put together by the centre’s owners, British Land, which embarked on a £7 million revamp of the centre’s northern entrance last October.
British Land will host a public exhibition of the new proposals and will consult with local residents to discover the types of attractions shoppers want in the new-look centre.
A planning application could be submitted to Peterborough City Council in September and building work could start next year.
David Wait, centre manager, said: “Serpentine Green has been serving the people of Hampton since 1998 but since then, the centre has changed very little.
“With over 5.5 million visitors a year and more expected in the near future, investment is now required to modernise the centre to meet the evolving needs of consumers, retailers and a growing number of local young families.
“The next stage of our investment that we are starting to plan is to redevelop the southern end of the centre to make it more outward-looking, better integrating with surrounding neighbourhoods and the growing community in Hampton.
“We believe this is good news for Hampton and the growing number of local families living locally.
“We will be undertaking wide public consultation with local residents and businesses before we submit a planning application later this year.
“In particular, we would welcome suggestions from residents on the inclusion of new leisure options and community facilities.”
Councillor David Seaton, who is one of Peterborough City Council’s representatives for Hampton Vale, said: “It is fantastic news - especially for our young people - that all these jobs will be created.
“I have been very keen for British Land to progress the development of the southern side of the centre. This is really good to see.”
The public exhibition will take place at Serpentine Green on June 16 between noon and 6pm and June 17 between 10am and 3pm.
l More good news on the jobs front for city: Pages 42 & 43