In January 2010 the district council consulted on options for the Abbey Shopping Centre.
It was announced today that an agreement has been signed for a £53M redevelopment of the favoured option. According to the district council’s press release…
Proposals for the Charter area (starting around 2013) include:
* a new large supermarket
* a new decked car park of about 400 spaces
* other retail floor space
* a replacement library, day centre and medical centre potentially at first floor level.
Proposals for the Abbey Shopping Centre (starting around Jan 2012) include:
* improving the choice and range of shop unit sizes by converting and combining some of the existing units into larger stores
* creating a new unit of 4,500 sq.ft. and another one of 2,000 sq.ft, both with first floor sales areas
* creating a more attractive street area by alternating roof heights and removing the existing canopies
* repaving and replacing street furniture, lighting and signage in the shopping centre.
This comes hot on the heals of an agreement to double the size of the Orchard Centre in Didcot at a cost of £125M. The two district councils involved (Vale of White Horse for Abingdon and South Oxfordshire for Didcot) have shared executive staff so they must have been busy.
Abingdon has a great recent tradition in wood carving thanks mostly to Brian who teaches all the other wood carvers. I last saw him with a half finished Medusa at a Didcot art event a few months back. The Medusa, made from a Yew tree bole, is now finished, and after Abingdon will be on display at the Royal Academy.
Also on view at the Community Shop are the panels from the Oxfordshire 2007 (1000 years old) celebration piece. There are various pieces round the walls, and a medieval style low relief, shown above, with some nice quirky detail.
Some Morris Men and other players were in the Kings Head and Bell, on Sunday afternoon, playing traditional songs and tunes. I recorded an Abingdon traditional tune to use with the end of month blog slide show.
There is an opportunity for a musician with Mr Hemmings Traditional Abingdon Morris Dancers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or ring Les on 01235 520812.
This picture from last weekend shows a couple of swans at their nest site on an island near the Abbey Grounds. The duck just stood there and did not appear to be concerned despite those big wings flapping.
Somebody was telling me today they had not seen the swans on the nest for a couple of days now and are growing concerned something may have happened.
On the front of the hoarding by the County Hall have appeared facsimile pictures of the shops behind. This is the town council supporting the shops during the building work.
See! They are still there. If you thought they had all vanished.