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Last Updated: Friday, 21 April 2006, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Demolition changes Bangor skyline
Wellfield demolition
Only part of the building near the bus station is now left
One of Bangor city centre's most prominent features for 40 years is being demolished to make way for a 32m shopping centre.

The old Wellfield shopping centre was built in a mall style in 1964.

In contrast, the Menai Centre which will replace it will have all the shops facing out towards the street, says developer Cathco Property Group.

The new centre with 23 shop units and a 400-space car park is due to open by Christmas 2007.

"We have agreed terms with Debenhams to take a new 60,000 sq ft store which is five times larger than their present store in the town," said Cathco director Nigel Dick.

"This new development should stop people going elsewhere to shop. It will be a great boost for Bangor city centre," he added.

Barclays bank worker Joseph Fearn, whose office backs onto the old site, said: "There have been fewer people in the town over the past couple of weeks when they have been getting rid of the rubble, but I think in the end this will be a good thing for the town.

Demolition work is due to finish by the end of May.

Originally there was opposition to the plans to demolish the Wellfield centre because small businesses said they would not be catered for in the new scheme.

Sioned Bebb, owner of Welsh bookshop Siop Pendref, said at the time she was concerned the new scheme did not have room for smaller shops.

"It's going to be rather like a retail park that you usually get on the edge of towns, but it's going to be in the city centre," she said.

The town centre redevelopment is being completed in stages with the police station and magistrates' court taken down and relocated first to make way for Marks and Spencer.

That development was delayed because of an underground river, and the store finally opened in September last year.

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