Cwmbran Shopping Centre
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The Llewelyn Walk entrance
|Location||Cwmbran, Torfaen, Wales|
|No. of anchor tenants||7|
Cwmbran Shopping Centre is a shopping centre owned by Prudential in the town of Cwmbran, Torfaen, Wales. As a New Town the town centre was planned in a single Master Plan along with the surrounding residential neighbourhoods. It is the second largest shopping centre in Wales.
The Cwmbran Development Corporation prepared the Master Plan for the development of the New Town which resulted in the creation of the original seven neighbourhoods which contained some local services, and housing and were located within easy reach of the Town Centre. The early years of the New Town were dominated by housebuilding with a lack of services for the town. In 1959 construction of the central retail area began, although considerations of its design began in 1951. The Town Centre was developed as a purpose-built central area by the Development Corporation and the Town Centre has been the focal point for retail development in Torfaen since its inception as a New Town.
Gwent Square was the first area to be constructed. In 1964, David Evans opened – this was the largest department store in Cwmbran at the time. By the late 1960s the area surrounding Gwent Square was built upon. General Rees Square was named after General Wynford Rees, a Commander of the British Indian Army, Deputy Lieutenant of Monmouthshire and First Manager of the Cwmbran Development Corporation. He died in 1959 and so was unable to see the Town Centre completed. In 1972 the Congress Theatre was built beside Gwent House in Gwent Square.
Further expansions followed in the late 70s and early 80s. By 1986, Cwmbran had reached its target population and the town centre was under pressure from overcrowding. When Cwmbran Drive was completed and opened in March 1988, Cwmbran Development Corporation was disbanded and all assets and future projects were handed over to the local council. In the early 1990s, Cwmbran Retail Park (originally Lock Gate Retail Park) was built to the west of Cwmbran Drive and the Town Centre, making more room for business and economic growth.
Cwmbran Town Centre is owned by Prudential plc and houses some of the most famous "High Street shops" in the UK. Since its inception, the centre has been extended several times and many of the shop units have changed hands. As of 2006 the largest unit is occupied by Asda. The unit was built in 2000 in the northwest corner of the centre on the site formerly occupied by the old Swalec offices, the original J. Sainsbury's supermarket, the health centre, and the Dyfed House office block, amongst others.
In 2008, Leisure @ Cwmbran opened in the north-east corner of the Town Centre on Glyndwr Road. It hosts a cinema, bowling complex, Indian restaurant, Italian restaurant, Farmhouse-style restaurant, Desert restaurant, Tanning salon, baby/toddler keepsake shop and a Trampoline park.
The centre also houses other main shopping retailers including: Argos; Barclays; The Body Shop; Burtons; Dorothy Perkins; F. Hinds; HMV; House of Fraser; HSBC; Iceland; KFC; Marks and Spencer; Matalan; McDonald's; NatWest; New Look; Pizza Hut; Post Office; River Island; H. Samuel; Somerfield; Superdrug; Topman/Topshop; Wetherspoon's (the John Fielding); W H Smith and Wilkinson.
The centre is also home to Cwmbran Library; Cwmbran's Citizens Advice Bureau; 'Scene' Cinema; the Congress Theatre and some civil service offices. Outside of the centre other retailers have taken advantage of its presence by locating their businesses there. Sainsbury's; B&M Bargains; B&Q; Next; Pets at Home; Lidl & Aldi are all within walking distance of the shopping centre. In early 2013, a new Morrisons supermarket opened, extending the shopping centre further to the east.
Cwmbran Shopping Centre is a popular shopping destination as it is mostly under cover and has over 3000 free car parking spaces within walking distance of the shops. Cwmbran's main bus station is located in Gwent Square and Cwmbran railway station is situated north-east of the town centre on Somerset Road.
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