THE new name of the £50m West Central development has been announced months ahead of its grand opening.

BH2 has been chosen as the new name for the leisure complex which is due to be unveiled early in 2017.

The Legal and General-funded site includes 10 Odeon cinema screens - one of which is claimed will be the largest on the south coast.

Boasting well-known restaurant names such as Las Iguanas, Joe's Kitchen and Bella Italia, 90 per cent of the site is now let, with a few remaining units set to be taken up by other high street eateries.

The new name is designed to reflect the 'contemporary leisure experience' that BH2 will aim to offer families living locally as well as visiting tourists, said Chris Dymond, director of developers Licet.

“We wanted a name that’s easy to remember, one that is short, simple and snappy, with BH2 emerging as the most natural choice as it also happens to be our postcode," Mr Dymond said. "We hope it will quickly be known nationally and locally as the destination for leisure and entertainment in a similar way that the O2 Arena and more locally, the BIC are recognised."

Andrew Ferguson, head of leisure at Legal and General Property, added: “BH2 is set to be one of the most exciting leisure schemes currently underway in the UK. We are delighted to be funding a scheme of this quality which will not only significantly boost the town centre but will act as a catalyst for and support Bournemouth’s wider regeneration activities.”

Alongside the official name is the launch of the first phase of the BH2 website -

Residents can look at the intended look once the building is finished, with computer-generated imagery.

The building contractor, Vinci Construction, is on schedule to complete BH2 by October. Once the building is finished, the Odeon and restaurant operators will then start to fit out their units.

Some restaurants may be open as early as Christmas.

The development aims to link the two main shopping areas of Bournemouth town centre and includes a 2,000 seat Odeon cinema with 10 state-of-the-art digital screens. There will be 175 underground car parking spaces, plus a secure bicycle parking area.