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30 years of shopping at Ankerside

By This is Tamworth  |  Posted: June 10, 2010

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TAMWORTH'S landmark Ankerside shopping centre will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its official opening this weekend.

The shopping centre was opened by the Queen in June 1980.

Major work to extend the centre was carried out in 1990 and the anniversary celebrations are taking place on Saturday with shoppers being invited to join in the fun.

The shopping centre will be giving away birthday cake, chocolates and balloons to visitors between 11am and 4pm, with entertainment provided by Charley the Circus Clown.

Centre manager Tony Ford said: "Ankerside has had a wonderful 30 years and it is only fitting that we mark the occasion in a special way.

"The birthday celebrations will be fun for all the family so why not pop down and join the party."

The centre is also working in conjunction with the Midlands Music festival and will be giving away a pair of VIP Saturday tickets and a chance to meet Grammy Award winning musician Billy Ocean.

The shopping centre was originally built by William Kendricks, as the overspill housing estates of the 1960s and 70s increased the town's population.

Tamworth Borough Council recognised the town was 'undershopped' and took the decision to invest £8million in building a state-of-the-art indoor retail centre.

When it first opened, the centre housed 35 retailers.

The next decade saw further growth in the town and increased demand for shopping facilities and in 1990 work began on refurbishing the old and building the new Ankerside, almost doubling its capacity to house 60 units and adding extra car parking.

The centre now records millions of visits every year.

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