Exeter City Council has unveiled a new £300million plan which it hopes will finally transform a "tired and outdated" area of the city centre.
Last year a proposal to build a new leisure centre and bus station collapsed, leaving the future of the city in limbo.
But today the council has revealed a new blueprint including housing, offices, restaurants and shops, as well as the possibility of a new multi-use entertainment venue.
The cost of the new swimming pool on the site has already risen to nearly £50 million.
The council's chief executive says it must be built to inspire confidence for the rest of the development.
The development concept provides a mix of uses that will complement the High Street, supporting both the daytime and night time economy, and responds to the demand for housing and offices within the city centre. This is a major and vital investment in a key site, adding almost a million square feet of additional development. Everyone knows the difficulties retail is facing. We need to ensure Exeter city centre is viable, sustainable and continues to thrive, and this investment is crucial for the city.
Redeveloping this site has been a key priority for years and I am delighted that we are now in a position to move forward with a scheme that serves the needs of everyone who lives, works and visits the city – it includes leisure, health and fitness, much-needed housing, office space, restaurants and retail. These plans are very exciting for Exeter, and the new facilities are long overdue.
We support this investment in the city centre and back the council’s plans to regenerate this tired and outdated site. This investment will help increase the viability of the city centre in uncertain times, and we very much welcome it.