Bath’s SouthGate shopping centre opened its doors today.

It is the first phase of the opening, with the second phase due in May 2010, and phase three in autumn 2010.

Retailers to have signed up to the first phase include Sainsbury’s Local, H&M and New Look, which will open its 1000th UK store at the centre. Boots, Quiksilver, Calvin Klein, Animal, Kurt Geiger, Cult, All Saints and Republic have also opened stores at the development.

The scheme is a joint project between asset management company Aviva Investors and Multi Development.

According to The Bath Chronicle, thousands of people tried out the new shops, with queues building up at the New Look store. Multi development director Jon Munce told the paper: “We’ve got some fantastic tenants. Three years of hard work and leasing effort have come to fruition. We’ve done very well given the current economic climate.”

When the £360m scheme is fully open it will house 56 retailer units, over 420,000 sq ft of retailer, restaurant and leisure space.