A NEW multi-million pound leisure complex is finally underway in Oswestry.
Developers moved into the 32-acre site off Shrewsbury Road last week to begin work on the new livestock market which makes up part of the £45m facility.
Set to create 400 jobs, the final development will include a Morrisons supermarket, five-screen Cineworld cinema, two-storey McDonald’s and Frankie and Benny’s restaurant.
The development could open as soon as Summer 2015. A second phase of the non-food retail elements of the scheme will be introduced at a later date.
There will also be a shuttle bus between the site and Oswestry town centre.
Roy Jones, chairman of Oswestry Cattle Auctions, said this initial phase is due to finish in December when work on the leisure plots will begin.
He said: “This is the most major development that has happened in Oswestry for a very long time and it will have benefits for the town and into the town centre because it will retain people in the town that at the moment go shopping elsewhere.
“For me the cinema is the best part of the whole project because a lot of young people are looking forward to that and Frankie and Benny’s and McDonalds.”
Mr Jones says the development has been “a long time coming” after it was first packaged in 1999 and took four years to get planning permission.
He added: “We are pleased to see machinery on the ground now and this is good progress.”
The new market will include reception offices, store cattle sale ring and pennage, and a calf sales building, while the Pedigree Public House is moved into the present office accommodation following a “substantial” conversion.
The work is being carried out by Hewlett’s of Leeds and Minshalls.
The existing market will still be open throughout the development.