Rugby Central refurbishment finished after two years

Left to right: Stepnell commercial manager Jonathan Shales; Martin Vickery from real estate services specialist CBRE; Stepnell contracts manager Paul Charnock and Rugby Central centre manager Robin Swift.
Left to right: Stepnell commercial manager Jonathan Shales; Martin Vickery from real estate services specialist CBRE; Stepnell contracts manager Paul Charnock and Rugby Central centre manager Robin Swift.

The refurbishment of Rugby Central, formally the Clock Towers, has been completed after almost two years, said the owner of the site.

Rugby-based construction contractor Stepnell said it has finished the final elements of the major refurbishment scheme for the town’s Rugby Central Shopping Centre.

The owner of the centre, CT properties, first announced a major refurbishment in 2016.

The refurbishment has seen a raft of improvements to the site, including new flooring and repairs to the roof - but it has not been without controversy.

Some Rugbeians previously expressed their disdain for the decision to change the centre's name from the Clock Towers to Rugby Central.

The removal of the famous Hare and Tortoise clock, which was installed in 1995, and the fitting of large television screens in its place sparked uproar among some users of the centre.

A spokesperson for the centre previously told the Advertiser: "We understand that the clock was held in affection by many but hope that the work that is being undertaken to the centre will benefit our tenants and customers for years to come.

"We would like to see Rugby town centre thrive. As such we need a modern and vibrant shopping centre.”

Construction contractor Stepnell, which has its head office in Lawford Road, carried out a large part of the refurbishment, including putting in new granite flooring throughout, revamping shop fronts and installing a new, energy-efficient LED lighting system.

In the latter stages of the transformation, Stepnell refurbished the Market Place and North Street entrances and created brand-new entrances from the centre’s Level 2 car park.

Robin Swift, the manager of Rugby Central Shopping Centre, said: “Our substantial refurbishment has taken time but the results have truly regenerated our shopping centre and the facilities for our customers and visitors.

"We wish to extend a huge thank you to everybody for their patience during the works and to Stepnell for their assistance with the project.”

Stepnell commercial manager, Jonathan Shales, said: “Having a high-quality, vibrant shopping centre which attracts local people and visitors makes a huge contribution to the continued vitality of our town centre.

“We’re delighted and proud to have been part of the team which has helped transform and reinvigorate Rugby Central, using our expertise in delivering successful retail projects to make it an even better place to shop.”

For more on the history of the Hare and Tortoise clock, and the circumstances of its removal, click here.