Shropshire

First phase of £250m Telford development to open in July

Southwater development Image copyright Telford and Wrekin Council
Image caption When it is finished Southwater will include an 11-screen IMAX cinema, plus bars, restaurants and a hotel

The first part of a £250m shopping and leisure development will open on 14 July.

The Southwater One centre in Telford will house the town centre library and other services.

It has been described by Telford and Wrekin Council as the town's "flagship community building".

Later in the summer restaurants, bars, a multiplex cinema and a hotel will open nearby as part of the wider Southwater development.

The council-led development sits between Telford Town Centre shopping complex and Telford town park.

It has been over a decade since the authority first proposed the scheme, which has been funded by the council, government grants and private investment.

Grand opening

Along with the library, the Southwater One building will also house the council's information service First Point, the Citizens Advice Bureau and a cafe.

It will look out on to a manmade lake, next to the refurbished Telford ice rink.

Seven restaurants, an 11-screen IMAX cinema, a 600-space multi-storey car park and a hotel are all expected to open soon afterwards, in time for Southwater's grand opening on 2 August.

The council said it would close the existing town centre library in Meeting Point House on 7 June, to allow time for the 25,000 books to be transferred over to the new facility.

The leader of the authority, Kuldip Sahota, said: "The borough as we know it will change forever as a result of the development opening and we really are in the position where Telford is about to become a major regional destination."

The nearby Telford Town Centre is also due a £200m revamp, involving a new cinema, a supermarket and a hotel.

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