Marriotts Walk opened its doors

Shoppers queue to get into M&S

Denis Kennedy opens Debenhams

First published in Witney by

THE county’s newest shopping centre has opened its doors to the sound of cheers and confetti canons.

The new shops at the £50m Marriotts Walk development in Welch Way, Witney, opened to the public yesterday.

Crowds of people queued to enter Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Monsoon and Accessorize, along with Frankie & Benny’s and Café Rouge restaurants, a five-screen Cineworld cinema and a 590-space multi-storey car park.

There was a party atmosphere as ribbons were cut in the shops, jazz music was played and a town crier announced the openings.

Manager Chris Taylor cut the M&S banner, as customers drank Champagne and explored the new store.

He said: “We are so delighted to be here in Witney and to finally get the shop open. It’s overwhelming the number of people, it was so good to see the queue outside.”

Pensioner Betty Whitby, 67, from Leafield, was one of the first to look inside.

She said: “It’s really nice to have some nice shops in Witney and shops that are open later.

“From 5.45pm the town is normally dead.”

Friends Annelise Jones, 68, from Freeland, and Christine Hall, 60, from Church Hanborough, turned up for the opening.

Mrs Jones said: “We are very impressed with the fact that we have got M&S in Witney — it saves us having to get into Oxford or Cheltenham.”

Mrs Hall added: “Witney has needed this complex for years as it has grown.”

Oxford Mail photographer Denis Kennedy, who cut the ribbon to open Debenhams, has provided canvas prints of the town, displayed around the shop.

Store manager Sandra Coulthard said: “All the hard work over the last few weeks has come to fruition.”

New Look, previously located in Market Square, also opened its two-storey shop.

Manager James Kemp said: “It’s great to have a large store now compared to the smaller store and the fact that it is in quite a key location.”

Shopper Roz Painter, 29, from Witney, came along with her two-year-old son Finlay.

She said: “It’s going to be so good for Witney to have more in the town and a cinema for the youngsters.”

Jane and Steve Park-Pearson, from Carterton, were first to use the free car park.

Mrs Park-Pearson, 44, said: “It was lovely.

“It saves having to go all the way into Oxford for Debenhams and Wallis.”

Richard and Janice Hull, of Madley Park, Witney, shopped with son Daniel, 10, and daughter Gemma, eight. Mr Hull, 45, said: “We are excited to come and see the new shops.”

Today, Witney MP and Conservative Party leader David Cameron is due to unveil a commemorative plaque at the new development.

Comments (11)

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8:59am Fri 30 Oct 09

Joe Cooke says...

Why didn't they build some more pubs like a slug and lettuce or an all bar one?
Why didn't they build some more pubs like a slug and lettuce or an all bar one? Joe Cooke
  • Score: 0

9:05am Fri 30 Oct 09

Peat says...

There was talk of a Wetherspoons taking the old Woolworths site, but it was Veto'ed by a community group (chaired by local eatery emporium owners.....)

On a separate note, who the hell queues to go into a shop?? P-Lease!
There was talk of a Wetherspoons taking the old Woolworths site, but it was Veto'ed by a community group (chaired by local eatery emporium owners.....) On a separate note, who the hell queues to go into a shop?? P-Lease! Peat
  • Score: 0

9:05am Fri 30 Oct 09

Korrie02 says...

It looks like less and less people will be coming to oxford to shop..i dont blame them actually...why is it taking so long for oxford city centre to have a good old referb????
It looks like less and less people will be coming to oxford to shop..i dont blame them actually...why is it taking so long for oxford city centre to have a good old referb???? Korrie02
  • Score: 0

9:19am Fri 30 Oct 09

Pixi says...

This is great news for Witney, bringing people into the town form all around. Take note councillors in other towns with no foot flow, you know who you are!
This is great news for Witney, bringing people into the town form all around. Take note councillors in other towns with no foot flow, you know who you are! Pixi
  • Score: 0

9:42am Fri 30 Oct 09

Concerned one says...

If the Greens have their way Oxford City will be a backwater as far as shopping goes. I suppose we will have to console ourselves with John Tanner's super loo at a cost of £300,000 not forgetting the arts centre for the homeless at a cost of £400,000.
If the Greens have their way Oxford City will be a backwater as far as shopping goes. I suppose we will have to console ourselves with John Tanner's super loo at a cost of £300,000 not forgetting the arts centre for the homeless at a cost of £400,000. Concerned one
  • Score: 0

9:51am Fri 30 Oct 09

Joe Cooke says...

Why are there so many nutters in Oxford who don't want a decent shopping centre in Oxford? they never seem Oxford born but ex students who go into politics and make the locals life a misery.
Why are there so many nutters in Oxford who don't want a decent shopping centre in Oxford? they never seem Oxford born but ex students who go into politics and make the locals life a misery. Joe Cooke
  • Score: 0

10:24am Fri 30 Oct 09

Fat boy says...

Now we're cooking. All those of you disgruntled with Oxford come on over to a happening town. You'll even be able to park all day for FREE.
Now we just need to get that Cogges relief road built and we'll be properly sorted
Now we're cooking. All those of you disgruntled with Oxford come on over to a happening town. You'll even be able to park all day for FREE. Now we just need to get that Cogges relief road built and we'll be properly sorted Fat boy
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Fri 30 Oct 09

LadyPenelope says...

I tend to go to Witney instead of Oxford anyway due to the free parking and less tourists!
WAY too expensive to get into Oxford city centre!
I tend to go to Witney instead of Oxford anyway due to the free parking and less tourists! WAY too expensive to get into Oxford city centre! LadyPenelope
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Fri 30 Oct 09

petpaws says...

The new shops are great. It will make such a difference to Witney and has created a lot of new jobs. I dont agree that there should be a pub ie Weatherspoons etc amongst the new complex. There are already pubs and a couple of nice bars in Witney ie Hacketts and Fleece. It is new shops that Witney needed.
The new shops are great. It will make such a difference to Witney and has created a lot of new jobs. I dont agree that there should be a pub ie Weatherspoons etc amongst the new complex. There are already pubs and a couple of nice bars in Witney ie Hacketts and Fleece. It is new shops that Witney needed. petpaws
  • Score: 0

11:10pm Fri 30 Oct 09

John Charles says...

A massive plus point for Witney is the free parking -- indeed it's the same throughout West Oxfordshire.
So how is it this council welcomes shoppers and visitors, whereas the greedy Cherwell Council charges by the hour?
A massive plus point for Witney is the free parking -- indeed it's the same throughout West Oxfordshire. So how is it this council welcomes shoppers and visitors, whereas the greedy Cherwell Council charges by the hour? John Charles
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Sat 31 Oct 09

rncleary says...

Despite the number of people who went to the opening of Marriots Walk. I found it a little disappointing that there were still so many units to let. The other infuriating thing was the sequence of the traffic lights as you leave the new multi storey car park.
The lights changed to green but we couldn't go anywhere as the light to Welshway were red and the traffic was backed up past the car park. I think that someone should really get this sorted soon. Although I must admit the car park was bright and looks good to for a car park.
It is however welcome that Marks and Spencer and Debenhams have made an effort to come to town even if they are biased toward the female shopper. Where are the clothes shops for us men? So we still have to travel out of the district.
Despite the number of people who went to the opening of Marriots Walk. I found it a little disappointing that there were still so many units to let. The other infuriating thing was the sequence of the traffic lights as you leave the new multi storey car park. The lights changed to green but we couldn't go anywhere as the light to Welshway were red and the traffic was backed up past the car park. I think that someone should really get this sorted soon. Although I must admit the car park was bright and looks good to for a car park. It is however welcome that Marks and Spencer and Debenhams have made an effort to come to town even if they are biased toward the female shopper. Where are the clothes shops for us men? So we still have to travel out of the district. rncleary
  • Score: 0

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