THE Brooks Shopping Centre in Winchester is to undergo a £1m revamp to boost its appeal to shoppers.

New attractive entrances and brighter lighting are some of the improvements planned following the investment by Catalyst Capital with the aim of attracting new stores.

The centre is also in talks with a number of gym operators to introduce a new franchise at the top of the building with the aim of tapping into the large student population.

The news is a welcome boost for The Brooks after Argos announced they were moving out to open a digital store at Sainsbury’s in Badger Farm in May.

It has however, been confirmed that discount clothing store TK Maxx will move into the space vacated by Beales, and is due to open in spring 2018.

Their unit is currently undergoing a £1.5m reconfiguration.

Catherine Turness, executive director of Winchester BID, said: “We are delighted to hear of the centre’s ambitious plans and will continue to support the management team, agent and landlords in bringing their vision to fruition.

“The next five years for the city is crucial. Winchester is embarking on a major development programme and we are pleased to note the redevelopment area for Central Winchester is to now include The Brooks.

“The investment indicated by The Brooks and of course the signing of TK Maxx has generated significant commercial interest and we look forward to welcoming new brands into the city to expand and complement Winchester’s retail offering.”

The 120,000 sq. ft shopping centre is currently home to shops including Primark, New Look, Waterstones, HMV and The Entertainer.

But it also has several long-term empty units and has only been fully let for around a year since its opening in 1991.

City council leader Caroline Horrill said: "Young people love The Brooks, they aspire to it being developed. They see it as their space with Primark and the new TK Maxx store.

"Our idea is that it could evolve and offer more for the young community. 

"I think the feedback we had is more retail for that community rather than going off to Eastleigh, and there being more space for eating and drinking.

"We were really enthused by how much support there was for The Brooks, the space inside the centre could be used more.

"It is down to us to convince the owners of that building of that space and of the aspirations we and our young people have for that space."