Work has started on the refurbishment of Saxon Square in Christchurch town centre.
Internal work in the former medical centre above the Co-op has started in order to convert it into a Travelodge hotel, with external work on the canopies outside shops in the centre due to start next week. Most of the work to remove the canopies will take place after the shops have shut every evening.
Further work on external paving, planting boxes and other items within the square and mall will take place next year.
Bryan Taylor, Centre Manager at Saxon Square Shopping Centre, said: “Now that ownership of the lease for the square and malls has been transferred from Christchurch Borough Council to the owners of Saxon Square Shopping Centre we are able to progress with the exciting £4m plans to refurbish public spaces.
“This will help to enhance the overall shopping experience for the local community and visitors alike. Our wide range of stores will continue to operate as usual throughout the refurbishment period.”
Cllr Ray Nottage, Leader of Christchurch Borough Council, said: “Following some very complicated negotiations to transfer the lease of the Square and the old medical centre I am absolutely delighted to see this vacant building brought into use for the benefit of the town centre.
“I am sure that the economic effect on the footfall in the town centre due to this work will be considerable and significant.”