Downtown Whittlesea will get an uptown lift when one of the city’s biggest shopping centres rolls out its new food and fun precinct.

Work started on the redevelopment of Westfield’s Plenty Valley shopping centre last week, with the company unveiling plans for a new dining and entertainment precinct.

The Mill Park centre is being expanded towards South Morang train station and will feature a Village cinema complex with gold class service and VMAX screens, and a casual dining precinct that will feature up to 12 restaurants. Four speciality stores will be added to the centre, as well as spaces that will be made available for community groups to use.

The new precinct will include casual restaurants and  cinemas. Picture: Supplied.

The new precinct will include casual restaurants and cinemas. Picture: Supplied.

Scentre Group, which manages and develops Westfield’s shopping centres, is yet to reveal the cost of the Mill Park expansion.

But spokeswoman Georgia Branch said the new precinct would add about 10,000 square metres to the centre’s footprint.

The redevelopment is expected to be finished in mid-2018.

Ms Branch said the dining and entertainment precinct had been designed to cater for Whittlesea’s growing population.

“Featuring abundant, lush greenery and timber and stone finishes, al fresco dining will be set around a beautifully landscaped central lawn area for people to relax in, as well as zones for kids’ play,” Ms Branch told Star Weekly.

“[A] river gum will take centre stage in this architecturally-designed community space.”

The new precinct will feature gardens and community spaces. Picture: Supplied.

The new precinct will feature community spaces. Picture: Supplied.

Ms Branch said there would be changes at the centre during the construction, however Westfield will be trying to minimise any disruption to shoppers.

The shopping centre’s entrance near Aldi was closed at the start of this month, along with the carpark outside the entrance, and a portion of the carpark adjacent to the Commonwealth Bank entrance.

Shoppers wanting to enter the centre from Morang Drive must head east to the rear of the centre, with the internal link road closed from next to Magic Hand Car Wash until the Commonwealth Bank entry.

South Morang train station commuters will still be able to access the station via McDonalds Road.