Mill Gate shopping centre sold to Bury Council
Another UK council has stepped in to buy a struggling shopping centre. This time it’s Bury Council, within the Greater Manchester region, buying the local Mill Gate shopping centre from InfraRed for an undisclosed sum.
The authority has agreed to acquire of the 15-acre Mill Gate estate, paving the way for its redevelopment, reported BusinessLive.
By owning the centre, the council said it “aims to be in control its future destiny”, noting that it wanted to “avoid the shopping centre being acquired by an income-investor, who would potentially extract surpluses from the centre for short-term gain rather than re-investing in the estate”.
At the same time, the council said it will enter into a joint venture with developer Bruntwood to work on improvements to the shopping complex. Bruntwood is currently working on a similar project with nearby Trafford Council on the revamp of the Stretford Mall.
The council went on to say: “The plan identifies opportunities to consolidate and diversify the current Mill Gate retail offer with the addition of new residential, leisure uses, serviced offices and food and beverage uses. The acquisition of the centre and the joint venture with Bruntwood provide the control, investment and expertise to deliver those opportunities.”
The development of Mill Gate will coincide with town centre projects including the new Metrolink station and transport interchange.
InfraRed purchased Mill Gate from Aberdeen Asset Management in 2014 for £52 million and has since invested £20 million at the centre. Retailers there include New Look, Bonmarché, TJ Hughes,Yours, Claire's, Suits Direct, Shoe Zone, Boots and Body Shop.
Last November, Burnley Council agreed to buy the town’s Charter Walk Shopping Centre while councils in Nottingham and Hull have also taken over redevelopment projects for their respect city/town centres.
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