WORK on the long-awaited Riverside development in Stafford town centre will now not begin until start in January - despite promises it would begin earlier this year.
The multi-million pound retail and leisure scheme will include Marks & Spencer and Debenhams stores and is also likely to feature a multiplex cinema.
Work had been due to get under way in September to flatten the old Bridge Street multi-storey car park.
But this week Stafford Borough Council bosses told the Newsletter they had been told by developers LXB Retail that it would begin in January.
They are planning to hold an exhibition in the New Year to give further details.
It is understood a multiplex cinema is still likely to be included in the development on the site of the old Chicago Rock Café.
The Newsletter revealed earlier this year that LXB had been in talks with a number of cinema operators.
Borough council spokesman Will Conaghan said: "We have been told by the developers that work is due to begin in January. The company behind the scheme recently announced further retail outlets have been signed up for the development.
"They have already started work on the former Chicago Rock building and will be holding a public presentation in the New Year to outline their plans.
"Work to demolish the old Tesco car park will also commence in the new year."
Building work is being carried out by the Simons Group, which has been responsible for a number of developments, including a major Marks & Spencer store at Cheshire Oaks and a retail park in Peterborough.
More than 200 people will be working on the site, with a number of jobs being created for Stafford residents.
The old multi-storey car park, which is due to be replaced with a seven-storey, 900 space car park, will be light and spacious, with retail space underneath, while the shopping mall will be covered with a glass roof similar to the Eden Project.