SWEDISH fashion chain H&M is to move into the empty BHS store in Poole’s Dolphin Centre, while JD Sports and the stationer Smiggle are also set to open.

H&M had said it was coming to Poole but had refused to say which unit it would be taking in the centre.

Now more details have emerged of changes at the shopping centre, which is expecting a £26million upgrade.

The centre has confirmed H&M will move into the 27,000sqft, two-storey BHS site which has been empty since the retail chain collapsed last summer.

JD Sports and Smiggle have both signed 10-year leases at the centre.

JD has taken a 6,120sqft unit, while Smiggle, described as creators of “fun, fashion-forward stationery”, will have a 560sqft store.

The news follows the recent announcement that Germany shoe retailer Deichmann was signed up to the Dolphin centre, as well as the expansion of New Look, which is extending its lease.

Centre manager John Grinnell said: “Attracting top brands to the centre is really important to secure its position as a significant attraction on the south coast for tourists and residents alike. Combined with the improvement works, we’re determined to significantly improve the facilities to appeal to all our customers.”

Legal & General, which bought the centre in 2013, recently agreed with Poole council to restructure its lease arrangements into a single lease, unlocking a £26m investment programme.

The improvements will include “refreshing” the interior of the shopping centre and improving Falkland Square and Kingland Crescent.

As previously reported, there are also plans to turn the former Argos building into a nine-screen Empire cinema with four restaurants.

The Dolphin Shopping Centre was built as the Arndale Centre in 1969, commissioned by the council in an effort to bring Dorset the kind of covered shopping mall that was popular in America. A second phase was added in the 1980s.

It is Dorset’s largest covered shopping centre, spread over 530,000sqft, with an annual footfall of 11million visitors, and includes more than 100 shops and restaurants.

The improvement work is expected to be finished by the end of 2018.