Published: 29th Jan 2019

Beleaguered could describe both the state of the high street and the financial position of local authorities, yet from Shropshire to Somerset, councils up and down the country have spent tens of millions of taxpayers’ money purchasing shopping centres. But with major chains leaving town centres in droves, critics have said it could be the next Icelandic bank crisis for local authorities. We asked three councils who have invested in retail: is it worth the risk? Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Shropshire Council raised eyebrows last August when they spent £51m of their capital budget on the Darwin, Riverside and Pride Hill shopping centres in Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury, an unassuming market town based on the River Severn, once boasted the longest row of uninterrupted independent shops in England, but with several major chains leaving the town in 2018, its three town centre shopping centres meant a bloated retail offer. So council … (To read the full article, subscribe below)