Council acquires Bolton shopping centre in £14.8m deal
Bolton Council has acquired Crompton Place shopping centre for £14.8m.
Following Cabinet approval for the purchase on May 14 and the completion of due diligence checks, the authority has now finalised the transaction.
Property management firm JLL will continue to run the centre, which comprises 46 retail units, kiosks, office space and a 280,000 sq ft car park with space for 285 vehicles.
Bolton Council funded the purchase using its £100m town centre fund, financed through a low interest loan being repaid using dividends from Manchester Airport and the Yorkshire Purchasing Company.
The shopping centre, the authority said, is central to its £1bn Town Centre Masterplan.
Trinity Quarter, Cheadle Square, Church Wharf and Croal Valley are the plan’s four other key sites, and the council said it is working to drive its ambitious development proposals for each.
Bolton Council Leader Cllr Linda Thomas described the Crompton Place acquisition as an opportunity for transformational change.
She 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.
“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.”
She continued: “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.”
Speaking further, Cllr Thomas said there will be no changes in the day-to-day running of the shopping centre in the immediate future, ensuring it “continues to operate smoothly for tenants and shoppers”.
But detailed ideas for regenerating the centre will be developed in the coming months. Long term, the council envisages building a completely new centre.
Cllr Thomas explained: “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.”