Vision to bring centre up to date

Vision: An artist's impression of what the shopping centre could look like
Vision: An artist's impression of what the shopping centre could look like
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An artist’s impression shows how a tired-looking shopping centre could be dragged into the 21st century.

Radical plans to revamp the Arndale in Morecambe have been described in an architect’s report as “refreshing, contemporary and classy”.

They include:

• A brand new trendy look for the Market Street entrance and nearby shop fronts;

• A new modern layout for the steps and ramp outside the entrance next to Argos;

• New businesses moving in to the empty units next to the Travelodge;

• New public toilets between The Works shop and the former Slater’s amusements;

• Demolition of the Market Street entrance canopy;

• A knock-through of empty shop units to create bigger spaces for restaurants or cafes;

• New state-of-the-art signs designed by leading London-based firm Hemingway Design;

• Dedicated walls to display artwork;

• A major repaint both inside and out.

Hemingway Design is run by Morecambe-born TV personality, designer and vintage festival organiser Wayne Hemingway and his family.

Wayne’s son Jack Hemingway is leading the project to upgrade the Arndale.

A report by architects Corstorphine and Wright said: “The current empty shops, outdated signage, style and the worn out finishes provide a negative impression to anyone visiting the town.

“This is an exciting reinvention of the centre to take place in gradual changes.”

Arndale owners NewRiver Retail have put in a planning application to renovate the centre.

If the plans get the green light by Lancaster City Council, work could begin next year.

NewRiver are also on the verge of announcing who will move into the former Tesco unit at the centre, empty since April.

Final legal contracts were due to be signed this week.

The transformation of the Arndale, which opened in 1972, would concide with the council’s plans for an overhaul of parts of nearby Market Street, Victoria Street and the Euston Road precinct, also due to start in 2016.

An upgrade of New Town Square, home of the Morecambe town crest mosaic, is also in the pipeline.