Castle Quay vision goes on display to all

Cameron Murray - Investment Director of Scottish Widows
Cameron Murray - Investment Director of Scottish Widows

Shoppers were given an insight into proposals to extend Castle Quay Shopping Centre at an exhibition held last week.

About 400 people viewed plans for the scheme – called CQ2 – at a display held in the shopping centre last Thursday and Friday.

Cameron Murray, investment director at Scottish Widow Investment Partnership, (SWIP) which owns the site, said: “It has gone really well so far and we have been surprised by how many people have come in to look at the plans and ask questions. It has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Obviously there are concerns about traffic and flooding, but we want to try and strengthen the town centre as a whole – not just Castle Quay but the shops in and around it.”

If approved, the extension would be situated near the General Foods Sports and Social Club and would include a large supermarket, cinema complex, canalside restaurants, cafes and boutique shops and an 88-bed hotel.

A key feature is a single lightweight glass roof, which draws the whole area together and spans across the Oxford Canal in one grand sweep.

The design would fit around the existing infrastructure of the Oxford Canal, The Mill Arts Centre, Chamberlaine Court and Banbury Museum.

“We are trying to give people a reason to want to spend more time in the town centre,” Mr Murray said.

“Before people would go to Northampton and Milton Keynes to do their shopping.

“Soon they can go to the supermarket, watch a film and visit the bars and restaurants in Banbury, which in turn means more money is being spent.

“In the long term it should maintain Banbury’s town centre and attract more people to visit the town.”

It is hoped a planning application will be submitted to Cherwell District Council at the end of this month, with construction work starting as early as Spring 2014 and taking an estimated 18 months to complete.

For more information on the CQ2 proposals, call 01295 279626 or email rachel.ashby@proteuspr.co.uk