A Birmingham shopping centre which has seen footfall grow despite the challenges facing the High Street is celebrating full occupany after welcoming its latest tenant.

The Square Shopping Centre has seen the number of shoppers rise by 3.5 per cent for 2011, compared to the previous year.

The news comes amid national reports that one in seven shops in town and city centres are now laying empty, and projections for another difficult year for retailers.

Midlands fast food retailer, Big John’s, is preparing to join the 46 other retailers in The Square, the latest in the existing chain of 15 already run by the award-winning entrepreneurs John and Bob Saddiq.

Yvonne Moulton, manager of The Square, said she was delighted to welcome Big John’s, and believes shoppers will be pleased to see a local company join the retailers in the centre, and is confident the new café will be well-supported.

“In view of recent reports about the number of empty shops across the country, we are very proud to say we have 100 per cent occupancy, and particularly pleased that a local firm, Big John’s, has been the one to help us achieve this,” Ms Moulton explained.

“They are a company going from strength to strength, and we’re pleased they’ve chosen The Square to carry on their expansion.

“It’s also great news to report a rise in the number of shoppers we have. Our aim is to create the right balance of small local well-known chains, and independent retailers, and to give our customers great choice, but also, great value for money too, which is especially important in the current climate.

“As well as being the home of the legendary Oasis, which celebrated its 40th birthday last year, The Square also hosts a vintage market every fortnight, and has a strong tradition of offering our customers something different to anywhere else in Birmingham.”