New £125m Didcot town centre regeneration deal agreed

Orchard Centre
Image caption The Orchard Centre opened in 2005 and has a number of shops and cinema

A new £125m deal has been signed to continue a regeneration programme of Didcot town centre in Oxfordshire.

Phase two of the Orchard Centre, which opened in 2005, will see a new shopping complex built on a 10-acre site next to the current centre.

The plans will see the current retail space doubled and also include restaurants and leisure facilities.

South Oxfordshire council has signed a deal with developer Hammerson and a planning application is being drawn up.

'Enviable location'

The first phase of the town centre complex opened four years ago and already has more than 30 stores and a cinema.

Simon Betty, development executive for Hammerson, said: "The current Orchard Centre, which we have managed for four years, is 100% let and trading well and we are confident in Didcot as a location to invest in.

"We have chosen Didcot because of its enviable location and positive attitude.

"This scheme will put Didcot on the map as a great place to shop and socialise."

Councillor Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire council, said: "At a time when many developments are paused because of market uncertainty Didcot is thriving.

"This will be a much improved town centre, with restaurants, cafes and a wide range of shops that will mean residents of all ages will find what they need in Didcot."

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