A HAMPSHIRE shopping centre has welcomed 4.7million visitors since it opened a year ago.

Whiteley Shopping Centre turns one-year-old today (May 23) and will mark its milestone with a giant birthday cake, card and a range of free activities offering one lucky shopper the chance to win a £1,000 shopping spree through their prize draw.

Over the last 12 months the centre has won New Development Medium Centre category at the ICSC European Shopping Centre Awards and was commended in the New Centre category at the BCSC Gold Awards and the Destination of the Year category at the Oracle Retail Week Awards.

Centre manager Neil Carter said: “It feels great to be one. We’ve had a fantastic first year and there’s more to come with the leisure extension opening next year. We’d like to thank all our shoppers for their support.”

Construction work totalling £18 million is underway which will see a nine-screen Cineworld cinema and Five Guys, Nando’s, PizzaExpress and Coast to Coast. The extension is due to open in mid-2015 and is expected to create 180 new jobs.