Plans to demolish Gloucester's Peel Centre shops revealed
RADICAL plans to demolish the shops at the Peel Centre are in the pipeline.
The 20-year-old ageing buildings, off St Ann Way, are home to retailers such as Burger King, Toys 'R' Us, Hobbycraft and cinema operator Cineworld, which is moving to the Quays next October.
Developers Peel wants to replace them with new, modern buildings.
There will be two anchor stores, one of which is rumoured to be Ikea.
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Existing retailers will be able to return to the site.
Jan Goodchild, from Hobbycraft, said: "We are aware of Peel's plans.
"We want to maintain a presence in Gloucester and we are in discussion with them but it is too early to say any more at this stage."
The work isn't expected to start until the redevelopment of the Quays is finished.
Gloucester City Council leader councillor Paul James said: "The Peel Centre is looking very tired at the moment and it definitely needs a revamp.
"Ikea is being talked about and that would be fantastic for the city.
"We just need to make sure the plans complement what we are doing in the city centre."
Construction of the new Cineworld is moving quickly and in June the firm will fit out the new 10-screen digital cinema.
Four restaurants have confirmed they will open next to the cinema.
And developers say they are fighting off other eateries who are clambering for the four remaining units.
Nick Poole, facilities manager for Peel, said it had been a massive undertaking to get the cinema project off the ground.
"We had to take the whole roof off and put a new one on so that it is suitable for the cinema auditoriums," he said.
"It was always bold developing the Quays in the middle of a recession but it has been done and having the cinema here means we've got our pick of restaurants."
The name of the first restaurant is to be revealed as soon as they start to fit out their premises.
Mark Benning, project manager, said: "Everything is on schedule."