THE multi million pound deal handing ownership of Banbury’s Castle Quay shopping centre to the council has been finalised.

Contracts have been signed by Cherwell District Council and the shopping centre’s former majority shareholder Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The district council is now the sole owner of the Castle Quay centre and it said this signifies the first step of the town centre’s regeneration.

Council lead member for finance, Tony Ilott, said: “Our vision is to regenerate the whole of the centre of the Banbury, including Canalside, Tramway and Bolton Road.

“We have already worked to bring existing brownfield sites back into use at Crown House and Town Centre House.

“Now we want to go one step further by delivering a quality shopping experience in Castle Quay and a thriving night-time economy through Castle Quay 2.

“This is a significant day in the history of Cherwell District Council as we embark on the first step of our journey to regenerate the centre of Banbury.”

Work to develop a cinema, supermarket, restaurants and hotel at the site will get under way in summer and are due to open in 2020.