A sod-turning event signalled the start of the £20m extension to Elliott’s Field Shopping Park yesterday (Monday, March 20).
Rugby Borough Council leader Michael Stokes and owner Hammerson’s Tom Cochrane officially broke ground on the former Tribune Trading Estate ahead of the extension.
Work will now begin to build space for nine new stores by contractors Kier, with plans for it to be open before Christmas.
Following the ceremony and a tour of the site, Cllr Stokes said: “The council has put in place policies to deliver economic growth for the borough and ambitious developments such as Elliott’s Field show the benefits of making Rugby open for business.
“Hammerson’s £20m investment in the expansion of Elliott’s Field promises to deliver a further boost to our economy and attract more major retailers to Rugby, increasing the choice on offer for our residents.”
Hammerson recently announced DFS, Oak Furniture Land, Sofology and Tapi as the first retailers signed up to open in the second phase of Elliott’s Field.
The leading homeware brands will occupy four of the nine units and further names will be announced shortly.
Mr Cochrane said: “We are delighted Cllr Stokes helped us mark this important next step and it reflects the successful relationship we have established with the council over recent years.
“A larger, fully integrated and thriving Elliott’s Field, with popular and successful brands, will enable Rugby residents to make some of their big purchases for the home without travelling so far.
“The significant interest we are seeing in the remaining units at Elliott’s Field is an indication of the strength of the first phase and the growth of Rugby as an area.”
In addition to the new stores, the extension to Elliott’s Field will deliver a café/restaurant, providing a new dining offer for customers and approximately 500 customer car parking spaces.
The park features a number of sustainability measures to target the highest BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating, and will be carbon-neutral, with the regulated energy usage of the occupiers entirely offset by sustainable initiatives.
Kier managing director Mark Pausey said: “We very much look forward to delivering this expansion of Elliott’s Field over the coming months, with the Christmas 2017 opening in mind.
“The exceptional sustainability measures incorporated within the design are just one reason why this is such an interesting project.
“We will work extremely hard to minimise disruption and to ensure the construction process runs smoothly.”