Morecambe shopping centre gets new buyers

TAKEOVER: The Arndale Centre in Morecambe has been bought out for �14m
TAKEOVER: The Arndale Centre in Morecambe has been bought out for �14m
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A retail firm has completed a £14m buyout of the Arndale Centre in Morecambe.

NewRiver Retail has pledged to give a fresh look to the centre, promising new shops, investment, a rebrand and refurbishment.

Arndale Centre manager Sue Byers called it “great news for the centre and Morecambe as a whole”.

The London firm bought the Arndale from previous owners, Northern Ireland-based JAP (Morecambe) LLP Ltd.

The deal was part of a £19m spree which saw NewRiverRetail also snap up high street retail outlets in Rugby, Nuneaton, Spalding, Blackpool and Perth.

Allan Lockhart, property director at NewRiver Retail, said: “The Arndale shopping centre offers excellent value-enhancing opportunities, having been impaired by a lack of investment for a number of years owing to the financial position of the previous owner. We are committed to improving the shopping centre with our plans to invest fresh capital and work closely with Lancaster City Council.

“We have identified a number of active asset management initiatives, including attracting new occupiers for an improved retail mix, a centre rebrand and refurbishment.”

Mr Lockhart also praised the city council’s planned re-modelling of street spaces near the Arndale, scheduled to begin in February or March 2015, to include new pavement surfaces on part of Victoria Street, Market Street and the Euston Road precinct to give the whole area a facelift.

NewRiver Retail is the UK’s third largest owner/manager of shopping centres.

The company owns £600m worth of property nationwide including 24 other shopping centres, more than 18 high street units and more than 200 pubs.

It specialises in the food and discount retail markets.

Its shopping centres include the Packhorse in Huddersfieldand Regent Court in Leamington Spa.

In 2013 the company bought 202 pubs from leading chain Marstons aiming to turn them into convenience stores and restaurants.