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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
First look inside shopping centre
Drake Circus shopping centre
The centre will house three of the largest retail units in the region
Developers have given the media a glimpse inside a 200m shopping centre in Plymouth set to open in October.

The Drake Circus centre has rented 85% of its 57 retail units. Next, Primark and Marks & Spencer will open their biggest regional shops in the centre.

The centre, which will also have cafes, is due to create 2,000 jobs.

Representatives of local shops have expressed concern the centre will draw customers away, but developers said it should attract a steady flow of trade.

Richard Webster, of the Frankfurt Gate Traders' Association, said: "The most worrying thing is the by-pass of passing trade. We might be specialist businesses but we also require passing trade."

A spokesman for the developers P&O said the centre should attract more pedestrian traffic that would in turn bring more local business.

Drake Circus shopping centre
The centre is expected to create about 2,000 jobs

They said it was not in their interest to create a retail wasteland.

Mike Jones, general manager of Drake Circus, said: "It is obviously going to bring a lot more footfall and a lot more people from surrounding areas.

"There is a massive catchment around Plymouth."

Other retailers who have announced they are taking units in the centre include Boots, bookstore Ottakers, Virgin Megastore and fashion retailer Zara.



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