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Gloucestershire Business News

New John Lewis in Cheltenham rapidly taking shape

Cheltenham's new John Lewis store will be opening its doors next year, bringing a new shopping experience and employment opportunities to the town.

With a combined investment of over £30m from John Lewis and site owners BlackRock, construction on the new store on the site of the former Beechwood shopping centre is coming on apace.

It is expected to create up to 250 jobs and will transform Cheltenham town centre, offering more than 115,000 square feet of selling space across two floors, showcasing fashion, home and consumer electronics concepts in a contemporary setting.

Tim Harrison, director of store development at John Lewis, said: "Cheltenham has long been a sought-after location for us and we're delighted to be able to expand our reach to customers across the region for the first time.

"This new shop will provide more convenient access to our inspiring products and great service, and we're looking forward to becoming part of the local community."

Kevan Blackadder, director of Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID), said it was great to see the building taking shape.

"It's such a positive to see the framework of the store now taking shape after all the months of preparatory work that has been going on in the background," he said.

"The glass for the windows that will front on to the High Street is being delivered next week so that will start to go up within days.

"The arrival of John Lewis is going to be a huge bonus for the town. It will be their only store in Gloucestershire so shoppers who may have gone to Cribbs Causeway before will now stay in Cheltenham.

"It will also attract thousands of shoppers from out of the town, which will bring extra business for other shops, restaurants and bars."

Kevan added: "It will be a bonus when the hoarding that has been stretching across High Street in front of the development is moved back closer to the new store. I'm told this will happen before the end of August.

"This will open up the area between Cambray Place and Rodney Road again and give better access from the town centre to The Strand and the businesses in that area."

A John Lewis spokeswoman said the new store would open next year but no set date for the opening has yet been announced.

Picture top: building work in progress and, lower, artist's impression of the completed building.

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