By Dan Santy Thursday 22 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 09:04
POTENTIAL job opportunities will be among details about the big money revamp of Elliott's Field to be discussed at public exhibitions of the plans.
It comes two weeks after it was announced Debenhams would be anchoring the £18 million redevelopment of the retail park - creating at least 120 new jobs, with many more expected in the other new stores.
Town leaders and borough councillors have largely welcomed the plans, but traders have raised concerns the 60,000 sq ft superstore could pull customers away from the town centre.
Tom Cochrane, development manager for property company Hammerson, which owns Elliott's Field, said the exhibitions would give shopkeepers and the wider public the chance to voice their opinions on the scheme.
He said: "We are holding the exhibition at the earliest possible opportunity to show people the emerging proposals.
"We have had an encouraging response so far, but we also want to give people a good opportunity to let us know what they think and we will be asking for feedback.
"Elliott's Field was built in 1988 and is Rugby's oldest out of town retail park. Hammerson’s redevelopment will deliver much needed investment and we are expecting to attract more new retailers to Rugby, as we have with Debenhams.
"This will improve Rugby's overall retail offer, prevent people having to make long journeys to shop elsewhere and help retain retail spend locally. These are significant benefits for the town as a whole."
He added Hammerson was currently in talks with a number of other well known retailers but refused to be drawn on who they were at this stage.
The plans will see some of the existing buildings at Elliott's Field demolished to make way for a new row of adjoining units.
There will be 15 new units built in total, along with a refurbishment of current buildings, more car parking and improved lighting around the site.
Mr Cochrane said Elliott's Field had been 'under-invested in' since it was first built 24 years ago, with Hammerson hoping to capitalise on its prime location near to the motorways and other major roads.
"We want to create something people will want to come to, retailers will want to locate to and a place people will want to work in," he added.
"We will give the feedback careful consideration before submitting a planning application next year."
The first public exhibition of the plans will be held on Friday November 30 at Rugby Library from 10am to 6.30pm, with another to be held in a trailer opposite Wickes at Elliott's Field the next day, Saturday December 1, from 10am to 5pm.
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