Cautious welcome given to shopping centre's plans

Puttstars and cinema complex above H and M store
The owners of Queensgate, Invesco Retail Estate, said the new cinema plans were creating a positive momentum [Shariqua Ahmed/BBC]

Plans to revitalise a city shopping centre were a "step in the right direction", according to a civic society.

The owner of Peterborough's Queensgate, Invesco Retail Estate, outlined its future plans for the centre, including a new cinema.

Toby Wood, from Peterborough Civic Society, said: "I can't leap up and down and say it's wonderful, but it is a step in the right direction."

The shopping centre has lost big retailers over recent years, including John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Monsoon and Accessorize.

Toby Wood smiling
Toby Wood, from Peterborough Civic Society, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about Queensgate's future plans [Toby Wood]

"City centre shoppers are definitely changing, and they come in not just for shopping but for meals or to see the cathedral," Mr Wood added.

"I think we are living in financially difficult times and anything trying to make the best of it is optimistic."

Invesco said the centre has had to "grapple with a vacant anchor store [John Lewis] alongside the usual struggles facing the high streets everywhere".

But the owners said the new Odeon cinema, scheduled to open before Christmas this year, alongside Frasers, which will take over the former John Lewis unit in May 2025, was creating a "positive momentum for Queensgate".

There are also plans for five restaurants with details to be announced shortly, Invesco said.

Unity store frontage
Unity store is located on the ground floor and is home to 50 independent businesses from around the city [Up The Garden Bath ]

Dr Cheryl Greyson, senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, said the idea of a cinema alongside shopping had been a success at nearby Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire, which she described as "bustling".

Dave Poulton runs Unity store in Queensgate - a collaborative retail project featuring more than 50 small local businesses.

"I am excited. We want to make the city centre a heart for the city and Queensgate is the key for it," he said.

"Peterborough lacks family entertaining as a whole. Shops are shutting. But a mixture of retail and entertainment is the way have to go and adapt with changing times."

Follow Peterborough news on Facebook, Instagram and X. Got a story? Email or WhatsApp us on 0800 169 1830

More On This Story

Related internet links