A BURTON shopping centre has revealed plans to create four new units in a major boost for the town centre.
Coopers Square is to be extended near its car park, off Station Street, with bosses revealing a number of parties have already shown an interest.
The plan is an indication that confidence is returning to the high street after the past few years, where empty shops have dominated the headlines.
But the irony of news of the development will not be lost on some in Burton, with a refusal to extend the centre said to have been one of the main reasons the department store Debenhams pulled out of a deal to come to the town last year.
The decision ended months of speculation and came as a huge blow to town centre bosses.
But Coopers Square shopping centre manager Dave Chadfield said the latest plans showed owner F&C Reit was committed to taking the centre forward despite the disappointment, but ruled out any possibility of the Debenhams deal being reignited.
He said the new plans were on a much smaller scale.
Mr Chadfield also confirmed parking at the centre would not be affected as the space where the new units were to be built was not currently used by shoppers.
He said: "This is something the owners say is required. There is a need to create space which is in demand.
"It's looking to the future, there is a turnaround in retail at the moment. It's very positive and we want to put something there for them."
Mr Chadfield said he hoped the units would be completed by the new year, adding the plan had already attracted strong interest.
He said: "We showed some potential tenants around last week.
"They are very keen; they like the idea."
When Debenhams announced it would not be coming to Burton in December, bosses said they would continue to monitor opportunities in the area.
Asked about the chances of Debenhams ever coming to Coopers Square shopping centre, Mr Chadfield said 'anything could happen' but that the company was not currently on its radar.