LEICESTER-Kingfisher subsidiary Chartwell Land has unveiled plans for a £40 million ($56 million) redevelopment of nearly half the Haymarket Shopping Centre in Leicester.

A planning application has been lodged with Leicester City Council to create 156,600 sf of new retail space including a major variety store and 32 new shops and kiosks at ground level along a new mall extending from the centre’s existing central square out to the remodelled bus station on Charles Street. On the upper levels, 67,000 sf of leisure space will include a multiplex cinema, health club, a family entertainment centre, restaurants and themed bars.

Chartwell Director Niall Lindsay said: ‘Our scheme for the development of The Haymarket dovetails with the City Council’s plans to develop a cultural quarter for Leicester in the St George’s area. The proposed investment in even better retail and leisure facilities at The Haymarket will also bring more jobs and will increase the attraction of the city centre.’

The major hurdle blocking the scheme is the need to find a new site for the Leicester Haymarket Theatre, but the theatre’s Chairman, Allan Hodder, made it clear that the theatre wanted to relocate provided newer and better facilities could be provided elsewhere in the cultural quarter.