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Eager shoppers queue for grand opening of Westgate

It was feared the new development wouldn't open by the promised date Credit: ITV

Excited shoppers lined the streets of Oxford this morning, as the new multi-million pound Westgate Shopping Centre officially opened its doors.

The site which originally housed a shopping complex in the 1970s, now boasts a new £440 million development.

Covering 800,000 square feet, the complex consists of restaurants, a cinema and around 100 stores.

Shoppers browse the new multi-million pound shopping centre Credit: ITV

Westgate Oxford Alliance estimated the centre would bring around 15 million visitors, and offer upwards of 3,500 full time jobs.

There have been concerns about the impact on local small businesses, as well as the vast amount of expected traffic to the area.

Rather than ribbon-cutting, visitors were entertained by the Alice in Wonderland themed key holding, in an opening ceremony attended by the Mayor and members of the local council.

Around half of all stores in the complex were trading today, with the remaining stores preparing to open for business in the run up to Christmas.

  • Watch our special series of reports on the opening: