The Market Square area of Bicester town centre is set for a major regeneration boost.
Conservative-controlled Cherwell District Council has been working with Bill Grimsey, ex-CEO of major retail brands, and various local stakeholders on a plan to revitalise the Market Square.
The proposals which include a destination food quarter, a cultural hub for the arts, event spaces for local organisations and live performances and an atmospheric lighting scheme will see the Market Square transformed from a solely retail space into an exciting community hub.
The Council's outline plans have now been supported by a £4.25 million cash injection to deliver the ambitious project over the next two years.
Astonishingly, local Liberal Democrat and Green Councillors abstained on the vote yesterday evening which confirmed this investment while Labour Councillors voted against.
Bicester Conservatives said: “This project marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Bicester. We know that residents have been keen to see the next evolution of our town centre for some time so this will be really welcome news.
The future of High Streets up and down the country is changing. Bricks-and-mortar retail continues to face significant pressures so it is important that we think innovatively about how to use our town centre spaces. These proposals will breathe new life into the Market Square area and we are pleased that talked-about concepts will now become a reality.”
A period of public consultation will now follow to help shape the final plans.