One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Huntingdon: £25 Million Redevelopment
200 new retail jobs are expected to be created by a £25 million redevelopment of Huntingdon town centre.
The redevelopment, announced today (Wednesday), will include a new supermarket and multi-storey car park.
Older buildings in the town centre will also be knocked down to make way for several new shops.
The multi-storey car park is expected to be completed in November, but it's not yet known when the rest of the redevelopment work will be finished.
A statement from Huntingdonshire District Council reads: "Huntingdonshire District Council now plans to use the town centre site to construct a multi-storey car park, and re-design the existing Sainsbury's car park with a new exit on the ringroad.
Once the Sainsbury's store has moved to its new location, the current Sainsbury's building will be converted into three new shop units.
The development proposals also include the replacement of the Sainbury's petrol station with a major new shop unit.
The re-development will provide 110,000sq ft of new floorspace, equivalent to approximately 2.5 acres.
This agreement also means that Churchmanor Estates will be able to take forward their re-development of the Chequers Court central area, to include the long awaited demolition of the rear section of the shopping centre and the re-development of the section formerly occupied by the Inland Revenue."
Huntingdonshire District Council's Managing Director, Malcolm Sharp, said: "This is a very significant day in the development of a vibrant and viable town centre for Huntingdon.
These plans will ensure that Huntingdon and the surrounding area develop into one of the best places locally to visit, live, work and also to invest.
I am delighted that the council has played a key part in this process, which has involved many years of debate and planning to bring it to this point.
To continue to be successful, town centres need to adapt in order to survive in changing times to be places where people want to visit for retail and leisure.
This is a growing area and all the signs are that this will continue for a number of years to come.
Huntingdon town centre will be ready to capitalise on, and contribute to the growth for the benefit of all who live and work here."
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