PLANS for a multi-million pound regeneration scheme in Southampton are to move a step forward.

The first phase of demolition work at the site of the former Bargate Shopping Centre is to be completed by the end of this month, with construction work expected to start by the end of the year.

As previously reported, the 400,000 sq. ft. new development by Tellon Capital will feature 24 retail and restaurant units, five retail pavilions, accommodation for 451 students and will create 200 new jobs.

The demolition work started in November 2017 and the derelict shopping centre and all the nearby buildings facing the Bargate will be completely knocked down in the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, buildings at the Queensway end of the site are set to be demolished by November.

Once the demolition work will be completed, construction work will begin.

The historic walls will also be restored, after having been covered for 30 years.

James Burchell,pictured, partner at Tellon Capital, said residents will not be able to walk on the walls but a new pedestrian area will be created for people to walk along the walls.

The new street will be 15m wide and run parallel to East Street and Hanover Buildings.

Mr Burchell also said they are developing a new virtual reality app which will give residents and visitors the opportunity to find out more about the history of the walls.

He added: “They go back a thousand years and we really want to celebrate it bringing it to life.”

The app will be free and people will be able to download it on their phones.

“We are still at the early stage of designing it and technology is changing regularly so we are working with some experts in the fields on what we want to put together,” Mr Burchell added.

He also confirmed that negotiations with national and international retailers are ongoing but the names of the businesses which could open new branches at the site have not been revealed yet.

“Until we agree with the retailers we can’t go public but we are in detailed negotiations with several national and international retailers who are all excited about the project,” Mr Burchell said.

The scheme is on track and is expected to be completed by Christmas 2019.

To mark the progress made so far, developers met with city council leader Chris Hammond yesterday.

Cllr Hammond welcomed the news and said the scheme will be a really positive for the city.

And added: “We welcome Tellon Capital’s investment in Southampton and celebrate this key milestone, further strengthening Southampton’s role as the powerhouse of the south coast. The redevelopment will be a vibrant mixed use scheme, opening up a long hidden area of the city’s medieval walls.”

When asked what impact the new shops and restaurants will have on the existing businesses across the city, councillor Hammond said: “There’s capacity in the city for this development and these new houses.

"The different parts of the city from West Quay South to the main shopping centre all the way down to Debenhams will be linked. We have got a number of businesses to that part of the city that feel a bit isolated and this will provide a vital link and most importantly it will open up the walls which have been hidden in the Bargate Centre.”

Cllr Hammond said the scheme will confirm that Southampton is a great place for shopping and to explore history and culture.