WORK to transform run down Town Square in Stratford is finally set to get underway next year.
A £30 million redevelopment project, Stratford Town Square, will be home to around 30 new shops, a cinema and a selection of restaurants.
Plans also include creating a pedestrian link between Rother Market, High Street and Wood Street.
It follows the purchase this week by property development and investment company UK & European.
Jane Jeffery, Acquisitions Director at UK & European, said: “Our aim is to create a new high quality shopping and leisure destination in Stratford town centre that attracts people both living in and visiting the area, by bringing a renewed vibrancy to the site.
“We expect work to start on the site next year and are already in talks with a number of retailers and restaurant operators who are interested in occupying some of the available units at Stratford Town Square.
“We are very much looking forward to working with Stratford District Council and Stratford Town Trust over the coming months in the delivery of this exciting new retail and leisure project.”
UK & European, acting as investment manager, now own the lease to Stratford Town Square – two thirds of which is owned by Stratford District Council and one third by Stratford Town Trust.
Coun Lynda Organ, district council finance and physical resources spokeswoman, said: “The regeneration of Stratford Town Square has been stalled for a number of years now so it is fantastic news that UK & European has purchased the site and is set to begin the transformation of the area into a welcoming and attractive retail and leisure destination.
“Not only will the development offer something more for our residents and visitors but it will also generate more long term employment opportunities.”
And Stratford Town Trust chief executive Helen Munro also welcomed the news.
She said: “As one of the freeholders it is important to the Town Trust that this site is developed for the benefit of the town and its people.
“Town Square has been tired and in desperate need of rejuvenation for some time and we are delighted that this opportunity has come to fruition following 15 months of very difficult negotiations. The lease is now in the hands of an organisation with a genuine commitment to Stratford.”