Work has started on a £20million redevelopment of shopping and leisure centre Southside's frontage.

The money will be spent creating 20,000 sq ft of extra retail spaces which will see new shops, offices and flats opening on the upper floors in early 2009.

Steve Burgin of the Metro Shopping Fund said: "We are excited to be beginning the next phase of our ongoing major investment in the centre, part of our goal of creating a revitalised town centre for Wandsworth.

"The Garratt Lane phase will provide modern shop units, allowing us to attract a vibrant mix of high quality retailers and create an attractive shopping environment on this busy street.

"We are committed to improving Southside through planned investment, to help Wandsworth realise its full potential as a dominant destination in inner South West London."

Clothing giant Gap is also due to open store in the Central Mall.

The council's town centre manger Ian Taitte added: "We have around £1bn of new investment coming into the town centre. The latest phase of the Southside redevelopment will transform this part of Garratt Lane.

"There is so much happening in Wandsworth today - it's good news for shoppers and incredibly exciting for the hundreds of people moving into the new wave of town centre apartments."