Exclusive: Banbury's Castle Quay development to breath new life into canal side

Plans for a unique creative leisure space that will transforrn the former BHS store have been reveled today.

Lock29, the new Castle Quay entertainment and recreational area
Lock29, the new Castle Quay entertainment and recreational area

Named Lock29, the 30,000 sq ft space will include food and drink vendors, a pop-up screening venue for 'secret cinema clubs', a bar and space for educational activities.

Lock29 will also become a focal point for community events and seating areas outside will allow people to enjoy one of the town’s key features; the canal.

Cllr Tony Ilott, lead member for financial management and governance at Cherwell District Council, the owners of the shopping centre, said: “Lock29 marks the next step in a new chapter for Banbury town centre.

“Lock29 is part of the wider vision to breathe new life into the canal side destination and rethink a critical, abandoned space with a creativity that will benefit the entire community.

“It will complement the forthcoming Castle Quay Waterfront development, with both working together to enhance Banbury’s wider appeal.

He added: “Overall, these new leisure-led offers will help to attract visitors and investment into the town while making Banbury a better place to live and work.”

Opening in March 2020, Lock29 offers will be unique to the region although other such transformative spaces have been trialed around the UK with great success.

Taking its name from the Banbury Lock, it will be a one-of-a-kind leisure destination that seeks to bring the town’s history into the new venue and offer ever changing food, educational and entertainment attractions.

The new focus for Castle Quay will be to feature a diverse range of food and drink vendors as the phenomenon of street food continues to sweep the food industry.

Banbury residents will see the first phase of Lock29 later this year when the screening venue opens, showing films and educational programmes for children.

On completion of the CQ2 development Lock29 will become the physical centre of the entire Castle Quay development and will act as a link between neighbouring sites such as the Spiceball Leisure, Centre, The Mill and the existing Castle Quay shopping centre.

Residents can follow Lock29’s development by visiting www.lock29.co.uk.