At last! Walsall's St Matthews revamp begins
The next phase of a £12 million shopping and leisure development hoping to breathe new life into Walsall town centre has begun.
Work at St Matthews Quarter, which was scheduled to start last summer before it was hit by delays, is finally underway.
The new 11-unit development will be built near Primark which opened last year and the recently redeveloped Goldmine Centre.
Ward councillor Mohammed Arif welcomed the start of work in an area of the town he claims has become 'an eyesore' in recent years.
He said: "As a councillor for St Matthews, I am very pleased to see this work begin.
"It has been delayed already and any longer would have been problematic, but it looks like we are moving in the right direction.
"People are excited about what's coming next and they are also pleased to know that a site that has become a bit of an eyesore will be transformed.
"For the town as a whole this is great news.
"It will complement the new developments immediately surrounding it and those going on across the town centre."
Norton and Proffitt Developments, a joint venture between St Modwen and Goold Estates Ltd, announced in July 2015 that it had acquired key areas of land and buildings in the St Matthew's Quarter development site for just £1 from Walsall Council.
It is thought that work, the latest retail development for the town centre, will be finished in 2017.
Primark opened nearby the site in August, while work on the Light Cinema complex at Walsall Waterfront is nearing completion.
The cinema complex due to open next week is set to create 30 jobs for the area.
It is the centrepiece of the development which will also see a number of restaurants including the TGI Fridays chain.
The venue is the Light's fourth cinema in the UK and will boast 1,200 seats and eight screens.
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