Whiteley Shopping Centre opens

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Thousands of people cheered as the new Whiteley Shopping Centre was declared officially open today.

Confetti rained from the sky as Chris Grigg, the CEO of operators British Land and Steve Power from Wave 105 counted down the opening.

Denise Van Outen opens Mamas and Papas at the Whiteley Shopping Centre

Denise Van Outen opens Mamas and Papas at the Whiteley Shopping Centre

Mr Grigg praised the hard work of the thousands of workmen and staff who have got the centre ready for opening.

Several street artists entertained the crowd with eclectic performances including a display of grannies dancing to pop music, fairies making balloon animals and a pair of posh gents in a gondola.

Elsewhere in the centre H&M staff held a flash mob and celebrity mum Denise Van Outen cut the ribbon at Mamas & Papas before reading from her new book Bumplicious.

Family fun events will be held all weekend to mark the opening of the £84 million centre.

Denise Van Outen said: ‘I think Whiteley is a great shopping centre. It has been a very exciting day. Lots of people of all aged turned out. It is a really nice place for families to come and shop and of course expectant mums to come, especially to the Mamas & Papas store. I’m a big fan of that brand. I bought praticily everything there when I was pregnant. It’s nice to come back [to Mamas and Papas] it’s even made me a bit broody!’

Mr Grigg said: ‘When I look around here today it looks fantastic. I just think it is brilliant an thank you to everyone that has worked on this village... I think it’s going to be one of the great places to shop round here.’

One of the first shoppers was Gillian Weeks, from Park Gate, who said: ‘I’ve really missed it since it’s been closed. I’ve had a good look around and I think it’s going to be really nice but I will miss some of the outlet shopping though.’