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£3 million Galleries Shopping Centre revamp ahead of schedule

THE first part of a £3 million revamp of the Galleries shopping centre has been completed ahead of schedule.

The popular shopping centre has been changing its layout in readiness for the arrival of a new store. And the changes mean that the food court on the third floor is being moved down a floor.

The new food court is due to officially open today after several months of work. The new facilities are being unveiled today at a family event and the star attraction will be children's TV favourite Peppa Pig.

Families can come along and have their picture taken with the TV character throughout the day at the new cafe area.

The new food court will include Burger King, Fat Jackets, Butlers and Perfect Pizza and is part of a year-long redevelopment of the centre. New toilet facilities are also part of the revamp and will open along with the existing facilities.

"We are sure Peppa Pig will prove a big hit with our younger shoppers," said Colin Lang the manager of The Galleries.

He added: "We are very much looking forward to unveiling our new food court which we are confident will help improve the overall visitor experience as we continue to be at the very heart of Bristol's vibrant city centre shopping offer."

The centre will be celebrating its 21st anniversary this year and is starting to show signs of recovering from the recession.

The first part of the renovations have been completed ahead of schedule and have taken five months and affect 30,000 square feet of space.

The Galleries recently changed hands and the new owners immediately restored the original name of the shopping centre.

New escalators and more visible branding both inside and outside the centre was also introduced.

Work has now started on the former food court's 15,000 square feet of top floor space which is being altered to accommodate a new anchor tenant, 99p Stores. The new store is due to open in mid November in time for the busy Christmas rush

David Henderson-Williams, partner of the Hark Group which helps to run the centre, said: "We are extremely pleased to have reached a key point in this phased programme of investment which is revitalising the centre and enhancing the shopping experience for both customers and retailers.

"Since The Galleries first launched in 1991, the retail environment has changed considerably and we are confident the relocation of the Food Court coupled with other material improvements planned for 2013 will reinforce its role as the dominant mid-market shopping centre in Bristol."

Colin Lang added: "Bringing the food court in ahead of schedule is testament to the hard work of the team involved. We are excited about the impact this new facility will have on the overall visitor and shopper experience which with increased dwell time is likely to improve footfall and retailer performance."

The Galleries is part of the Bristol Shopping Quarter and, alongside Broadmead and Cabot Circus, works closely with Destination Bristol to market the city centre as a vibrant retail destination.

The Galleries, which has 80 shops and food service units and 1,000 car park spaces, has attracted a number of new retailers recently including outdoor clothing brand Trespass.

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