Bolton Council buys shopping centre for £14.8 million

Bolton Council has bought the Crompton Place shopping centre for £14.8m to help kickstart its town centre regeneration masterplan.

The council has taken over ownership from current owners Santander pension fund after the Cabinet approved the purchase last month.

The purchase has been funded from the council’s £100m town centre fund, which is financed through a low-interest loan, which is repaid using dividends from Manchester Airport and the Yorkshire Purchasing Company.

The property management company JLL will continue to run the centre, which contains 46 retail units; kiosks; office accommodation, and a 285-space car park covering more than 280,000 sq ft.

The leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said the purchase of Crompton Place is ‘fundamental to support the regeneration and transformation of our town centre’.

‘It is at the heart of our town’s civic and retail core and this deal means we now have control of a major strategic site that is critical to delivering the town centre masterplan,’ added Cllr Thomas.

‘We will now be focusing on ways to regenerate the area for the long-term benefit of the town centre and our residents across the borough.

‘We have carried out extensive due diligence checks before acquiring the centre and these have confirmed that the purchase price reflects current market conditions and represents fair market value.

‘Bolton is following the example of many other local authorities across the country that have also invested in their local shopping centres to deliver regeneration schemes.

‘There will be no changes in the day-to-day operation and running of the shopping centre in the immediate future, to ensure it continues to operate smoothly for tenants and shoppers.’ 

Cllr Thomas added: ‘We have listened to people’s views about the town centre and we are taking action. When we launched the masterplan, we said we would move quickly to make things happen and making this strategic investment which will be a catalyst for huge regeneration.

‘Like other councils, we have made this commercial investment because owning the centre gives us the opportunity to influence and lead our town’s regeneration. We will now be able to look at all of the options for Crompton Place and make sure tenants, the public and stakeholders have an opportunity to have their say, before any decisions are made.

‘We have all seen the amazing transformation of the Market Place and the benefits that has brought in terms of visitor numbers. Crompton Place also requires that kind of vision and investment to deliver our regeneration plans, complement our existing retail offer, and bring new businesses into the town centre.’

The move by Bolton Council comes a month after Liverpool City Council announced it was planning to buy the Liverpool Central shopping centre.

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart


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