The £170m extension of Newcastle’s Eldon Square shopping centre opens today introducing new retailers to the city along with key flagship stores.

A four-storey Debenhams will anchor the new St Andrew’s Way scheme that has increased the size of Eldon Square to 1.3 million sq ft. St Andrew’s Way, a 400,000 sq ft undercover streetscape, is fully let and brings retailers including Apple , Hollister, Superdry and Guess to Newcastle for the first time.

Topshop has also brought its store design used in its New York flagship to its store there whilst River Island and New look are both opening new flagships.

Owners Capital Shopping Centres hope the enlarged centre will attract over 30 million shoppers in the next twelve months.

Capital Shopping Centres managing director Kay Chaldecott said: “Today’s opening is the culmination of many years’ proactive and energetic activity as long term investors in Newcastle, and is testament to the shared vision and commitment of Newcastle City Council and Capital Shopping Centres. We are immensely proud of Eldon Square and the positive changes it has brought to the city centre, harnessing its great spirit and augmenting the shopping experience.  This expansion will reinforce Eldon Square’s position as one of the leading retail destinations in the UK.”

The opening today is part of ongoing improvements to the centre. Its existing floors are due to undergo a £2m refurbishments and new tenants are expected to be announced shortly.