Canal Day Cancelled
Banbury Canal Day, one of the town’s biggest events, will not be held this year because of building work for the extension of Castle Quay Shopping Centre (CQ2) which is expected to be fully open for Christmas 2018.
Banbury Town Council’s general services committee heard on Tuesday last week that work on the extension would start this summer and much of the area used by Canal Day would become out-of-bounds.
Canal Day was scheduled for October 1 but by then towpaths on both sides of the canal, between General Foods Social Club and the Tom Rolt Bridge, will be fenced off.
Some existing car parks will also be closed.
Committee chairman Cllr Colin Clarke, said the decision had not been taken lightly.
He said: “Canal Day is a massive event with around 12,000 visitors – some travelling long distances to get here.
“We needed to make an early decision because many boaters – especially traders – plan their year with Canal Day in mind.”
Among the tenants set to open for business on the new CQ2 are a 1300 seat 8-screen cinema believed to be Curzon, six new restaurants and a café, which will offer alfresco dining with a scenic view of the canal.
C2Q will also welcome a new 117-room Premier Inn business hotel and the return of a town centre food retailer.
With the cinema, hotel and restaurants set to attract much higher numbers of visitors to Castle Quay, shoppers will benefit from extended opening hours. The shopping centre will remain open until after midnight, to allow cinema-goers to walk through Castle Quay on their way home after evening films.
A planning decision by Cherwell District Council is expected later in the spring, with a view to CQ2 being fully open for Christmas 2018.