CONSTRUCTION work is finally about to start on one of the biggest regeneration schemes in the borough - Parkgate.
Boldly described as designed to breathe new life into Shirley, around 20 new shops, residential apartments and houses, car parking and a new supermarket are just some of the facilities residents and visitors can expect to see on the £85 million mixed use development.
The scheme, which is expected to create up to 800 jobs, has been in the pipeline since 2004.
Following years of negotiation, Shirley Advance (a joint venture between Helical Bar and Coltham Developments) finally secured planning permission for the project.
Robert Birch, the man behind Shirley Advance, promised: This project is going to revive Shirley.
We get told Shirley is on its knees and were to blame but we havent even started building yet.
There will always be people who will have something negative to say but we are confident this can only breathe new life into this part of the town.
At the heart of the development, which is expected to be completed in April 2014, will be the controversial Asda store.
Mr Birch added: We have been asked why Shirley needs another supermarket but it is about getting people back into the central shopping area, rather than encouraging them to go out of town.
He added that there had been considerable interest from regional and national retailers to fill the retail units in Parkgate but has not yet confirmed which ones they are.