Westgate Oxford will boost the city’s independent retailers according to OxLEP boss Nigel Tipple.
Mr Tipple, chief executive of the LEP, was one of the early visitors to the £440 million shopping and leisure centre destination when it opened on Tuesday, October 24.
He predicted a major boost to both the city and the county and to both other retailers including those in the covered market, and to jobseekers. The development has created the equivalent to 3,500 full time jobs.
He said: “Our overriding message is that the redevelopment of Westgate Oxford will bring a welcome boost to many different groups across the county and not just those with direct involvement.
“Undoubtedly – the city centre will be an even more attractive place to visit, with shoppers enjoying a first-class retail experience.
“That said – I am confident that, through Westgate Oxford, many will discover our excellent array of independent retailers across the city, as well as the dozens of tourist attractions we have in the city and across the county.
“This boost – particularly in the lead-up to the Christmas period – can only be welcome news for the city economy.”
The jobs boost, which includes several new apprenticeship programmes, would, he said, have a positive effect on the wider region too.
He said: “We are proud to have been closely involved in the development of a Community Employment Plan for Westgate Oxford, ensuring that Oxfordshire residents are benefitting from job opportunities.
“This has been achieved thanks to two schemes we agreed in 2013 with Land Sec. The initiatives have helped around 750 Oxfordshire residents into training, apprenticeships and work at Westgate Oxford.
“We hope this will be a lasting legacy of the redevelopment.”
© Thames Valley Property No 90 (tvproperty.co.uk)
To get the TVP free weekly newsletter, the Thames Tap, simply sign up here.
Image courtesy of lizsmith