Parts of Banbury's Castle Quay Waterfront development set to open this summer

Castle Quay Shopping Centre plans a soft opening of the canal side outside seating area of the Lock29 food and drink venue next week.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 6:16 pm
Chris Hipkiss, with Cherwell District Council, and Ben Parker with McLaren construction company stand on a bridge over the canal at the Castle Quay waterfront development
Chris Hipkiss, with Cherwell District Council, and Ben Parker with McLaren construction company stand on a bridge over the canal at the Castle Quay waterfront development

Several areas of the new Castle Quay Waterfront development are expected to open this summer.

Officials with Cherwell District Council, contractor McLaren and Castle Quay Shopping Centre Director Oliver Wren took the Banbury Guardian on a tour of the waterfront development site today, Friday June 11.

It is anticipated that the Lidl supermarket and Premier Inn hotel elements of the development will open in this summer, with the cinema and restaurant units to follow later in the spring of 2022.

The Premier Inn hotel on the canal next to Castle Quay Shopping Quay Shopping Centre in the Banbury town centre is expected to open this summer

But before any of the waterfront development opens officials with the Castle Quay Shopping Centre plan a soft opening of the canal side outside seating area of the Lock29 food and drink venue next week.

The new line-up will complement the existing Castle Quay offer, acting as a link between neighbouring sites such as the Spiceball Leisure Centre and the shopping centre, improving connectivity within the town centre and supporting the creation of a dynamic evening economy.

The new development will transform the area into a thriving canal side destination, complete with The Light© Cinema, Lidl supermarket, Premier Inn hotel and restaurants.

Work on the site Castle Quay Waterfront development site continues to be carried out in line with Government guidelines during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The construction programme is continually reviewed in light of Covid-19 and in line with government guidance.

Chris Hipkiss, with Cherwell District Council, Oliver Wren, the director of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, and Ben Parker with McLaren Construction Company stand in front of the new Castle Quay Waterfront development.

Oliver Wren, centre director for Castle Quay Shopping Centre, said: "It's supporting the evening economy. It's so you can do everything all in one place. It's also driving footfall into Banbury as well."

The Lidl supermarket, located between the Spiceball Leisure Centre and the canal, is anticipated to open in the late summer. It will have its own car park. Developers also expect to open a new car park called the North Two Car Park this summer.

Mr Wren added: "It'll be a fantastic addition adding a Lidl to the town centre. Marks and Spencer was really popular and this will help fill that void."

There will be another new cark park called North One Car Park underneath the cinema and restaurant complex, which is expected to open next year.

An image from inside one of the amphitheatres at the new cinema going in the Castle Quay Waterfront development

The ground floor of the waterfront development will include space for three restaurants and a bowling offer from the cinema.

As patrons enter the canal side of the waterfront development on the ground floor they will be able to take an escalator, lift or stairs up to the cinema on the first floor.

The cinema will have eight movie screens and seat more than 800 people. The waterfront development is also expected to offer an outdoor terrace cinema overlooking the canal.

Chris Hipkiss, with Cherwell District Council, said: "People can sit there and enjoy the canal. It's all about that connection back to the canal.

A Lidl supermarket is expected to open at the Castle Quay Waterfront development this summer

"Connectivity is one of the core objectives of the project."

The waterfront development project has also included cleaning up of the Spiceball Leisure Centre bridge over the River Cherwell, and a new paved cycle path from Spiceball Park on to the Banbury Train Station.