Regent Arcade is half way through its massive transformation
REGENT Arcade is half way through its £20 million transformation.
Work on the makeover started in March and is on target to be completed in May next year.
The year-long renovation of the High Street shopping centre will bring the much awaited H&M to Cheltenham.
Shoppers will also get the benefit of an enlarged River Island .
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The revamp, which will also see the main entrance of the centre get a new Bath stone-clad facade, is currently on course to be completed on time.
The frontage will include a new lighting feature to welcome shoppers, following planning permission being granted for the work in 2008.
Town centre manager Martin Quantock said: "I know footfall has held up in the Regent Arcade so the disruption to the centre has obviously been managed very well.
"When you walk past I can hardly believe what was there once. When you look up there is just a hole and it feels a bit weird seeing it all open aired.
"It will be a surreal to see a before and after photograph.
"I think shoppers are really looking forward to seeing a H&M taking up residence.
"It has always been one of the names a lot of people mention they want in Cheltenham.
"At the moment people go to Gloucester to go to H&M and it really is one of the biggest shops we don't have.
"When it opens no one will have to go Gloucester to visit and so it will hopefully have a good effect for the rest of the town."
The H&M clothing store will take up three floors next to the arcade entrance and River Island will move next to Lloyds bank spanning two levels.
Hoardings and scaffolding have been up throughout the refurbishment to inform shoppers it is business as usual during the renovation.
Meanwhile TK Maxx wants to expand by 30 per cent, taking on extra space around its first-floor location.
The expansion for the designer-label shop is due to see the store re-launch in January or February next year.
Italian shirts for both men and women will soon be on sale as 7 Camicie sets to open in the arcade.