BOSSES behind a £100m city centre development say plans have been knocked off course due to the coronavirus crisis.

Once complete, Southampton’s Bargate Quarter will offer residents and tourists new shops and restaurants.

The urban revamp will include a hotel with 250 bedrooms and new flats.

However, because of the global health pandemic, the future of the project is uncertain.

Civic chiefs have even voiced their concerns the project may not go ahead.

A spokesperson for Tellon Capital, the developers behind the multi-million-pound project, said: "This [crisis] has come from absolutely nowhere and the project has been knocked off course.

"We will take stock of the situation when it is over.

"However, there is enthusiasm to crack on with the project. It is a real investment in the city centre and the council has a great vision which we will always support."

Labour councillor for the Bargate ward, Sarah Bogle said: "Clearly, we are in a situation where nothing is going to happen until the COVID-19 crisis is more contained.

"I genuinely don’t know what will happen but in the difficult economic climate there is clearly a risk that this development may not go ahead."

Cllr, John Noon added: "We are all worried about the future. I would like to see something happen as soon as possible. But at the moment no one knows because of the coronavirus crisis. Everyone wants to see the site developed but no one knows where we will be in six-months time."

Meanwhile Cllr Darren Paffey, said: "Yes, it’s concerning but entirely understandable that the project isn’t progressing during the coronavirus crisis. Work should only be carried out as and when it’s safe to do so. Once we’re over the peak of Covid-19, businesses up and down the country will no doubt be reassessing what their priority actions will be, so we can expect to know more about the Bargate Quarter at that point."

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, the ambitious multi-million plans were first approved by the city council in January 2017.

The plans included the demolition of the failed Bargate Centre, opened in 1989, which developers want to replace with a “terraced garden street” linking the 12th century Bargate monument to Queensway.

Initial plans included 152 private flats, 80,000 square feet of shops with five commercial kiosks and accommodation for 451 students.

Work started in November 2017 with the gradual demolition of the Bargate Centre.

However, it dramatically stopped last February after builders unearthed rare archaeological artefacts on the site.

The finds from the excavation, conducted by Southampton City Council Archaeology Unit, included a 14th century stone cannonball, a 15th-century jar which once held liquid mercury, and a 17th-century plate with a bare-breasted woman depicted on it.