Modern look for centre

KINGSWOOD town centre is set for a triple boost this month.

Plans have been unveiled for the modernisation of Kings Chase shopping centre, a deal is close on the former Wilko store and the indoor market is having a facelift (and now has a butcher’s shop).

South Gloucestershire Council is committed to a £5.5m revamp of Kings Chase and has put in a planning application. It’s part of a wider £25m scheme to improve the High Street area.

A spokesperson said: “We have exciting plans to carry out refurbishment work at Kings Chase Shopping Centre in Kingswood and have submitted a planning application to erect new external signs and timber cladding, as well as installing new planters and refreshing the public walkways. Plans also include painting the existing canopy while updating the internal lighting. This work is designed to make Kings Chase more welcoming and inviting for visitors, and a place where people want to shop and spend their leisure time.”

The plans, which also include five new kiosks to replace the current ones, can be viewed on the planning section of the council’s website, reference P24/00219/F.

The council’s consultants say the 1970s centre’s “grey concrete construction and glazed mall appear dated and in need of revitalising”. They note that the entrance, from Regent Street “does not present an inviting arrival experience”.

The consultants say the proposed new look will enhance the space to create a more active and engaging public space.

Meanwhile, the council has told the Voice that the anchor unit that Wilko vacated late last year should soon be open again. The spokesperson said: “We are in the process of completing legal documentation with a new occupant and we hope to be able to provide further details soon.”

It is not known who the new occupant will be. The Range chain bought the Wilko brand and has said it will reopen hundreds of stores.

The move of Mark’s Mobile Butchers to The Indoor Market follows the row earlier this year about the siting of its mobile unit at the entrance to Kings Chase. Councillors said it could move to a site nearby but instead it has moved into the market at 98 Regent Street and was due to open on February 21.

A fabric and wool shop has also opened and the market café is set to open again soon.