Hawkstone unveils £50m waterfront leisure scheme

Hawkstone Properties Plc has unveiled plans for a £50 million waterfront leisure development in the heart of Banbury, Oxfordshire, after securing occupiers including a cinema, hotel and well-known restaurant chains.

The scheme is being developed on behalf of Aberdeen Asset Management, with construction to begin this autumn with practical completion expected in late 2018.

The CQ2 development, an extension to the popular Castle Quay Shopping Centre, includes an eight screen cinema, six restaurants, a hotel and food store and is expected to create hundreds of new jobs.

The Light Cinema has been confirmed as the leisure anchor tenant and will be joined by restaurants Handmade Burger Company, Zizzi, Chiquito’s and Nando’s in a canal-side setting. The identities of two further restaurant chains are expected to be confirmed soon, making the scheme 100% pre-let.

Lidl has signed a lease on a 30,000 sq ft food store, while Premier Inn has agreed to open a 117-bed hotel with in-house restaurant.

Cameron Murray, of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “We’ve been working on this complex project for a number of years, and are now delighted to be able to announce pre-lets.  These are well-known names and new entrants to the town which will offer a huge amount of variety for existing and new visitors to Banbury.  With over £35million being invested, the project will create employment opportunities and will have a positive benefit on the town centre and importantly the local economy.”

Simon Handslip, Development Director at Hawkstone Properties Plc, said: “We are delighted to be an integral part of bringing this exciting development to Banbury town centre.  It represents a major transformation of the town’s leisure and entertainment offer, and will be a wonderful extension to the already popular Castle Quay Shopping Centre, bringing with it hundreds of new jobs for local people.

The quality and range of pre-lettings we have been able to achieve shows that this is an exciting time for the town of Banbury which I am sure will attract even more visitors once the development is open for business.”

Keith Pullinger, CEO of The Light Cinemas, said: “The Light chose Banbury as a developing town, currently without a modern cinema offering. The Light will be a premium cinema experience with a commitment to local community engagement, showing a broad range of films and events to appeal to all age groups.”

BWD & Jackson Criss are joint letting agents on CQ2.