SOLIHULL’S Touchwood shopping centre is set to undergo a major expansion to ensure the town’s retail offering is capable of competing with regional rivals.
The multi-million pound scheme, agreed between the centre’s owner Lend Lease and Solihull Borough Council, will see the opening of 25 new shops and restaurants, and create hundreds of new jobs.
Under the scheme, Orchard House, next to the mall will be demolished to make way for the improvements. The development will expand the Touchwood footprint by around 115,000 sq ft to almost 800,000 sq ft.
The deal will also allow Solihull Council the opportunity to refurbish Church Hill House.
The local authority said the deal was about making sure Solihull remained sustainable.
There are fears that with the opening of new developments nearby such as the Grand central scheme in Birmingham and the new leisure upgrades planned for the NEC, shoppers may opt to go elsewhere rather than stay in the town.
The new Birmingham city centre scheme is especially significant because it will be anchored by a new John Lewis, the same retailer that anchors Touchwood.