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End of an era for shopping centre

DEMOLITION of the Swan Centre began this week, signalling the end of the long-serving shopping complex.

DEMOLITION of the Swan Centre began this week, signalling the end of the long-serving shopping complex.

For over 50 years the centre and indoor market had catered for Yardley residents, but the site had become an eyesore in recent years.

Boarded-up shops and graffiti-laden shutters dominated the area which will now make way for a £10?million precinct of shops and a Tesco superstore.

Bulldozers moved in on the market hall and multi-storey car park on Monday and Tony Fletcher, Tesco’s corporate affairs manager, said it will be a ‘new start’ for the people of Yardley.

“The Swan Centre is outdated and has been in need of drastic redevelopment for some time, so the scheme really will mean fresh opportunities.

“The development of a whole new shopping centre for local residents and the creation of hundreds of jobs will provide a new and ­vibrant outlook for the area.”

As well as the 80,000 sq ft store, there will be 18 smaller shops and 700 car park spaces.

An adjoining tower block, Bakeman House, has been refurbished by Birmingham City Council at a cost of £3 million.

A further £4?million will also be ploughed into nearby Oaklands Park, part of which will be swallowed up by the new car park and widening of Church Road into a dual carriageway.

It is hoped that when the store opens next year, 500 full and part-time jobs will be created.

 

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