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Shopping mecca a lifeline for ailing town

PLANS to transform Winsford's ailing town centre into a multi-million pound mecca for shoppers from all over Cheshire have been unveiled.

An artist's impression of the Winsford Cross Shopping Centre

PLANS to transform Winsford's ailing town centre into a multi-million pound mecca for shoppers from all over Cheshire have been unveiled.

Manchester-based Modus Properties has announced proposals to develop Winsford Shopping Centre, which it bought earlier this year for £18m.

The precinct will undergo extensive changes, with plans for a refurbishment programme including a £2m multi-storey car park.

Modus also wants to enclose the centre with automatic doors at a cost of £500,000. And there will be a name change ­ the centre is to be re-branded as the Winsford Cross Shopping Centre.

The ambitious changes have been identified as a priority by Modus to ensure the 1960s-era shopping centre can compete with ultra-modern, out-of-town retail centres in the area. The company hopes to submit a planning application this week with a view to construction starting next February.

Winsford Shopping Centre currently comprises 80 units, with plans for another 40,000 sq ft of accommodation for retail and leisure uses already in place.

The £1.8m extra buildings, adjoining the Asda supermarket, are due to be completed by Easter 2003. Major-name retailers are involved in discussions with a view to setting up shop in Winsford.

Further changes include a shopping centre entrance linking the multi-storey car park which, once completed, would create 920 free parking spaces.

Modus is also looking to implement a £400,000 programme of improvements to the town centre's roads and pedestrian links to make the area more accessible to shoppers.

'We are looking to further the appeal of the old Winsford shopping centre by improving its exterior and adding modern car parking facilities,' said Modus Properties managing director Brendan Flood.

'We feel we are implementing the first of some major steps in helping attract key national retailers.

'In addition to these physical changes, we are also looking to use our extensive links within the retail industry to further the number of varied outlets vailable and make Winsford a key shopping destination for the people of Cheshire and surrounding areas.'

Former owner the Newcastle-based Grainger Trust started to implement an ambitious scheme to breathe life into the shopping centre four years ago.

The company completed the clock tower scheme at the Dingle Lane end, but failed to get its plans for a major revamp, including the demolition of the unpopular multi-storey car park, off the ground.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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