Start date announced for town centre works

Artist's view of one of the new shopping thoroughfares in the Bicester town centre redevelopment.
Artist's view of one of the new shopping thoroughfares in the Bicester town centre redevelopment.

MAJOR works will begin on Bicester’s town centre redevelopment on January 9, it was announced on Wednesday.

The multi-million pound transformation of the town centre will begin in earnest once the Christmas and New Year trading period is over.

National cinema chain operator Apollo has now signed a contract to run the digital seven-screen multiplex, which is one of the main elements of the redevelopment.

Rob Arthur, managing director of Apollo, said customers would be able to watch all the latest films, including 3D releases.

The new cinema is set to open when works are completed in the summer of 2013.

Around 600 jobs are expected to be created by the redevelopment.

The work is a joint venture between Cherwell District Council (CDC), Sainsbury’s and Stockdale Land.

CDC spokesman councillor Norman Bolster said of the new cinema: “It will mean residents will not have to travel elsewhere to see the newest films and will be a big draw for visitors, which I am sure will delight the town’s traders.”

Ben Jackson, chairman of Bicester Chamber of Commerce said: “The cinema, once completed, will add a missing piece to the leisure puzzle in Bicester. It will help hold people in the town, which can only be good for the local businesses as well as the residents.”

Other key elements include a Sainsbury’s supermarket, new shops and restaurants, a car park and bus station.