MILLIONS of pounds are being invested in the heart of the city as work continues on the redevelopment of a once-neglected area of Southampton.

Developers and civic bosses met at the Bargate Quarter development yesterday to celebrate “getting a shovel in the ground” after eight years of planning.

Funding and plans for Bargate Quarter, the £132m scheme to improve the development built around the City Walls and The Bargate, were agreed in November.

It will provide 519 much-needed new homes comprising a mix of studio, one, two and three-bed units, along with 2,515 square metres of ground floor commercial space.

This will also highlight the historic walls that have been “decaying, rotting” while hidden for 70 years.

Daily Echo: This is what the Bargate Quarter will look like.

Construction is now underway following a unanimous decision by Southampton City Council’s Planning and Rights of Way Panel to grant permission for the revised scheme last year.

Now civic bosses have said the plans are set to bring in around 2,000 people to the centre. Tellon Capital expects the Bargate Quarter scheme to be completed by late 2024 or early 2025.

Councillor Jeremy Moulton said the city council will be looking to “invest heavily” in the areas surrounding the Bargate Quarter development.

This includes The Bargate, the surrounding city parks, a new Hanover Square, “redoing” East Street, and Queensway.

“This has been a long time coming,” he said.

“Eight years in the making to get a shovel in the ground, and it’s such an important site here.

“We’ve had a derelict site here for so many years and it will be built out by 2024 in time for us winning the 2025 UK City of Culture.

“It’s going to open up these walls which have been hidden for 70 years - decaying, rotting - we haven’t been looking after them, people haven’t been seeing them, and they are going to be showcased now.”

He added: “We’re looking at probably 2,000 people in the next few years in this area and that will create more sustainability.”

“It will support the shops, it will support East Street and the city council will be looking to invest heavily.”