The Grafton Centre in Cambridge is set for a multimillion pound makeover to create a more modern, inviting shopping and leisure destination, after plans were announced today.

Corstorphine + Wright is working on the £18.5 million project for owner Legal and General and Cambridge based development partner Wrenbridge.

The two phase scheme will see the transformation of the tired 1980s shopping centre to enhance and expand the existing retail and leisure offer.

Plans include refashioning the Fitzroy Street entrance with a new double height glazed entrance that creates a sense of arrival. New, contemporary shop fronts will be fitted, including double height frontages for the larger stores, whilst the roof will be replaced by a glazed ceiling with feature lighting to create a bright, spacious environment flooded with natural daylight for families, locals and students to enjoy. The centre will also gain a new brand identity.

Eden Hall, an area which previously housed small shops, will be reconfigured to attract new leisure and retail operators, whilst the Central Hall will gain a new skylight and will be de-cluttered to create open spaces and offer a new dining and seating area.

Phase two will include the refurbishment of the Great Court and the creation of a new restaurant quarter.

French based sportswear trader Decathlon is the first new retailer confirmed to be joining the centre, spreading over the ground and first floors. Announcements regarding other new brands are to follow soon.

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