The mayor of Bicester cut the ribbon to reveal the new extension to Bicester Village with 30 new boutiques opening their doors yesterday (Thursday, October 19).
More than 100 guests from the local community and neighbouring tourist attractions were the invited to see the new mall landscaped with lush botanical planting by Nikki Tibbles from Wild at Heart, before entering the new Secret Garden café complete with a traditional sweet shop and potting shed.
Business director Sarah-Jane Curtis said: "We are so excited that opening day is finally here and we were delighted to celebrate together with our community partners.
"We are especially grateful and proud of all our teams who have worked tirelessly to make today’s deadline and to the community of Bicester for their patience to reach completion of the new road network."
The new brands include luxury womenswear, menswear, lifestyle and sportswear brands, with Acne Studios, North Face, Joseph, Under Armour, Rapha, Villeroy & Boch, and Dsquared2 joining the line-up, plus sought-after British brands Emma Bridgewater and The Cambridge Satchel Company return to the village.
Also opening for the first time, The British Collective, a one-stop Christmas shop, designed by interior decorator and illustrator Luke Edward Hall who offers a visual feast with its opulent interior and an array of luxury gifts ranging from the softest cashmere to beautiful leather accessories and scented candles.
The Tesco superstore was demolished to make way for the extension to one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the country.
Bicester mayor Cllr Les Sibley said: "I am sure you would agree that Bicester Village over the past two decades has made a considerable contribution to the community of Bicester with employment opportunities and apprenticeships.
"The village’s support and sponsorship for local schools, charities and other organisations is both well established and much appreciated.
During the breakfast celebration and speeches, community relations director Miranda Markham announced a new £22,000 fund to be launched in January, in addition to the annual community programme of sponsorship and events.
The fund will invite bids of £1,000 from local organisations supporting the themes of youth, togetherness and health.