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Work to convert former Christchurch medical centre into Travelodge begins
WORK to convert a former medical centre in Christchurch into a Travelodge has begun.
Internal work at Christchurch medical centre, above the Co-operative in Saxon Square is underway while teams will next week begin external renovations of the canopies above the stores in the shopping centre.
Most of the work to remove the canopies will take place after the shops have shut every evening.
Further construction on external paving, planting boxes and other items within the square and mall will take place next year.
Bryan Taylor, centre manager at Saxon Square Shopping Centre, said: “Now that ownership of the lease for the square and malls has been transferred from Christchurch Borough Council to the owners of Saxon Square Shopping Centre we are able to progress with the exciting £4m plans to refurbish public spaces.
“This will help to enhance the overall shopping experience for the local community and visitors alike. Our wide range of stores will continue to operate as usual throughout the refurbishment period.”
Cllr Ray Nottage, leader of Christchurch Borough Council, said: “Follow-ing some very com-plicated negotiations to transfer the lease of the Square and the old med-ical centre I am absolutely delighted to see this vacant building brought into use for the benefit of the town centre.
“I am sure that the economic effect on the footfall in the town centre due to this work will be considerable and significant.”
Plans for the Travelodge were approved in 2011 but have taken two years to come to fruition due to complex negotiations.
At the time, local bed and breakfasts opposed the budget hotel scheme due to concerns about loss of trade.
The 68-bed hotel is set to open in spring 2014 and create 10 jobs.
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