Shops centre developer chosen

FOLKESTONE should at last get its shopping centre now a new developer has been chosen to create it. Shepway District Council released a short statement on Tuesday saying London-based Bride Hall Developments would build the indoor mall in the town.

Out of eight contenders, the firm came highly recommended from Bexley council, whose town centre has been transformed. Work should begin in January or February on a complex which will house 30 shops and cafes with space for a health and fitness suite next to the bus station which it is hoped will also undergo a revamp.

The Bouverie Place site in Folkestone, now a temporary car park after bulldozers moved in to demolish rows of Victorian buildings, should already be a flagship shopping arcade. But this time last year Dutch developers Wereldhave, which still owns much of the land, pulled out of the £35 million project.

Council leader Rory Love said: "We are very pleased to be able to appoint the new developer. It is down to the determination and work of this council on behalf of the people of Folkestone. I know how important this shopping centre is to them."

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