£3m shopping centre facelift will help trade “improve dramatically”

Saxon Square in Christchurch.

Saxon Square in Christchurch.

First published in News by

THE multi-million pound refurbishment of a Christchurch shopping centre will see trade ‘improve dramatically’, according to business leaders.

As well as a £3m facelift for the Saxon Square shopping centre, a building previously left empty for 20 years has been turned into a new hotel.

President of Christchurch Chamber of Trade, Stephen Bowden, heaped praise on the project, saying it will provide an economic boost for the area.

“The Chamber of Trade is keen for Christchurch to be the best it can be and we are very excited about the regeneration project,” he said.

“The regeneration project coupled with the changes the council recently made to car parking charges is already having a clear benefit on the centre.

“As a destination, Christchurch will always have to compete against bigger towns but our selling point is our quality shops with a vibrant range and now we have a cleaner, pleasant centre which will encourage shoppers to keep coming back.”

Mr Bowden said the centre had previously looked ‘dark and dated’ and that its fresh appearance made it more welcoming for shoppers.

The centre’s manager, Bryan Taylor, added that it had been a challenging project, but that he now hopes shoppers will be able to enjoy the refurbished facility for years to come.

He said: “The centre looks better than ever.

“The paving makes the centre more accessible to shoppers and the new seating encourages people to relax and enjoy spending time at Saxon Square.”

A celebration to mark the project’s completion, including live music and children’s activities, will take place at the centre between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, July 26.

Comments (7)

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1:53pm Thu 24 Jul 14

scrumpyjack says...

I can honestly, with no hidden agenda, that I can see no improvement at all.

In fact I think the new paving slabs are worse than the old, they look like cheap slabs that they used in the hideous concrete shpping centres of the 70's.
I can honestly, with no hidden agenda, that I can see no improvement at all. In fact I think the new paving slabs are worse than the old, they look like cheap slabs that they used in the hideous concrete shpping centres of the 70's. scrumpyjack
  • Score: -2

2:11pm Thu 24 Jul 14

woby_tide says...

scrumpyjack wrote:
I can honestly, with no hidden agenda, that I can see no improvement at all.

In fact I think the new paving slabs are worse than the old, they look like cheap slabs that they used in the hideous concrete shpping centres of the 70's.
I completely disagree. The place is much brighter especially on the section at the rear from the new hotel through to the Square itself. No longer dark and enclosed. Plus the occupancy of the centre looks to be at a record level.

For all the criticism of Christchurch and it's High St the current mix of chains and independents is good to see, especially as even the chains aren't all the run of the mill usual ones
[quote][p][bold]scrumpyjack[/bold] wrote: I can honestly, with no hidden agenda, that I can see no improvement at all. In fact I think the new paving slabs are worse than the old, they look like cheap slabs that they used in the hideous concrete shpping centres of the 70's.[/p][/quote]I completely disagree. The place is much brighter especially on the section at the rear from the new hotel through to the Square itself. No longer dark and enclosed. Plus the occupancy of the centre looks to be at a record level. For all the criticism of Christchurch and it's High St the current mix of chains and independents is good to see, especially as even the chains aren't all the run of the mill usual ones woby_tide
  • Score: 7

3:17pm Thu 24 Jul 14

agp1337 says...

woby_tide wrote:
scrumpyjack wrote:
I can honestly, with no hidden agenda, that I can see no improvement at all.

In fact I think the new paving slabs are worse than the old, they look like cheap slabs that they used in the hideous concrete shpping centres of the 70's.
I completely disagree. The place is much brighter especially on the section at the rear from the new hotel through to the Square itself. No longer dark and enclosed. Plus the occupancy of the centre looks to be at a record level.

For all the criticism of Christchurch and it's High St the current mix of chains and independents is good to see, especially as even the chains aren't all the run of the mill usual ones
Well said, WobyTide. Went there this morning for three things I was going to go into Bournemouth for, but thought I'd just try Christchurch. One of them was a slightly esoteric book to be ordered from Amazon. Bookends had it in stock, so no Amazon required! I went to one chain and another independent shop and got what I wanted. To be fair, the chain said that business had been very slack today, but I suppose it's too hot to shop. All in a very pleasant environment, except that I was nearly knocked down by boys cycling round a corner, but that happens everywhere. Great bus services, too.
[quote][p][bold]woby_tide[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]scrumpyjack[/bold] wrote: I can honestly, with no hidden agenda, that I can see no improvement at all. In fact I think the new paving slabs are worse than the old, they look like cheap slabs that they used in the hideous concrete shpping centres of the 70's.[/p][/quote]I completely disagree. The place is much brighter especially on the section at the rear from the new hotel through to the Square itself. No longer dark and enclosed. Plus the occupancy of the centre looks to be at a record level. For all the criticism of Christchurch and it's High St the current mix of chains and independents is good to see, especially as even the chains aren't all the run of the mill usual ones[/p][/quote]Well said, WobyTide. Went there this morning for three things I was going to go into Bournemouth for, but thought I'd just try Christchurch. One of them was a slightly esoteric book to be ordered from Amazon. Bookends had it in stock, so no Amazon required! I went to one chain and another independent shop and got what I wanted. To be fair, the chain said that business had been very slack today, but I suppose it's too hot to shop. All in a very pleasant environment, except that I was nearly knocked down by boys cycling round a corner, but that happens everywhere. Great bus services, too. agp1337
  • Score: 6

5:27pm Thu 24 Jul 14

yeahRight says...

still cheaper and with a better selection at sainsbury's in somerford
or tesco's castle lane
or even what used to be called the hampshire centre
pay to shop in a charity shop ?
i think not
still cheaper and with a better selection at sainsbury's in somerford or tesco's castle lane or even what used to be called the hampshire centre pay to shop in a charity shop ? i think not yeahRight
  • Score: -4

5:50pm Thu 24 Jul 14

WOC says...

Some of the new paving slabs have already had stuff spilt on them (chocolate milkshake by the looks of it) and are starting to look grubby already. Whilst I agree that it currently looks much brighter, I think given a year or so it's going to look dirty and grimy once again. Such a shame given the amount of money spent on the regeneration.
Some of the new paving slabs have already had stuff spilt on them (chocolate milkshake by the looks of it) and are starting to look grubby already. Whilst I agree that it currently looks much brighter, I think given a year or so it's going to look dirty and grimy once again. Such a shame given the amount of money spent on the regeneration. WOC
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Gastines3 says...

A cull of the pigeon population would greatly improve the area. I note they have now taken up occupation over the door to W.H. Smith's, with all the droppings piled up all over the place. Otherwise,a great improvement and the Hotel should bring more visitors to the centre. All that is needed now is for the Council to organise a good clean-up of the entire town and make it a more pleasant place to visit and enjoy.I think if I was a Business Rate payer I would be asking exactly what I was paying for?
A cull of the pigeon population would greatly improve the area. I note they have now taken up occupation over the door to W.H. Smith's, with all the droppings piled up all over the place. Otherwise,a great improvement and the Hotel should bring more visitors to the centre. All that is needed now is for the Council to organise a good clean-up of the entire town and make it a more pleasant place to visit and enjoy.I think if I was a Business Rate payer I would be asking exactly what I was paying for? Gastines3
  • Score: 4

6:58pm Thu 24 Jul 14

aquasplash3 says...

yeahRight wrote:
still cheaper and with a better selection at sainsbury's in somerford
or tesco's castle lane
or even what used to be called the hampshire centre
pay to shop in a charity shop ?
i think not
There's a 99p shop in Christchurch though, it's mainly for people of your ilk.
[quote][p][bold]yeahRight[/bold] wrote: still cheaper and with a better selection at sainsbury's in somerford or tesco's castle lane or even what used to be called the hampshire centre pay to shop in a charity shop ? i think not[/p][/quote]There's a 99p shop in Christchurch though, it's mainly for people of your ilk. aquasplash3
  • Score: -1

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