SouthGate is set to get a new look this year after a £2.5 million investment by owners British Land and Aviva Investors.

The project, which starts in early February, will transform the centre’s public spaces and enhance the overall visitor experience.

The plans include enhancements in green spaces and seating, with the creation of a pocket park on St Lawrence Street including mounded lawns, bespoke timber seating and apple trees.

SouthGate has also partnered with Bath-based Macgregor Smith Architects and the Holburne Museum to design a new piece of public art within the city, which will be installed in SouthGate Place.

The specially commissioned shadow lantern has been created following literacy workshops with local schoolchildren and will project words associated with Bath’s culture and heritage – from Royal Crescent and Roman Baths to Bath rugby.

At museum workshops, more than 60 pupils from Swainswick and Bathford Primary Schools were asked to tap into the city’s past and present to help inspire the artwork.

These works follow a series of successful art installations at SouthGate, including this summer’s wisteria walkway and the famous umbrella street.

Guy Henderson, centre manager at SouthGate, said: “We’re looking to create a relaxing, feel-good space in the heart of the city and have worked with the local community to bring this concept to life.

“Our partners have channelled the city and its heritage, where possible, and I’m sure we’ll be thrilled with the end result.

“The improvement works represent a big investment for us, with the aim of making SouthGate an even better place to shop, eat and spend time at.”