068842:Aerial view Metro Centre Gateshead Unknown 1995
Image Source: Newcastle Libraries
Chloe Shakesby

New Metrocentre owner to invest £25m in "exciting concepts"

One of the largest shopping centres in the UK has announced that it is coming under new management today.

The Metrocentre, in Gateshead, has been taken over by Sovereign Centros, which is planning to invest £25m in the centre.

The centre was previously owned by intu, which recently fell into administration with £4.5bn of debt.

Sovereign Centros will asset manage the centre on behalf of the Metrocentre Partnership, while Savills will take on the responsibility for the on-site property management.

The company has also made a commitment to invest in the retail park adjacent to the centre and bring in some new names to enhance the existing offering.

Chris Geaves, chief executive of Sovereign Centros, commented: “This is a very important day. We are delighted to be taking the centre over.

“There are clearly challenges for us all at this time but we want to take the centre back to where it was as ‘The Metrocentre’, which the local community was always very proud of.

“Our aim is to inject new life with vigour with different uses to ensure that it remains the place to come to for a very long time.

“We have a number of really good and exciting ideas.

“We are in discussion with a number of existing retailers who want to upsize, which goes to show how well they trade and we have a number of new exciting concepts who want to be represented.

“The partnership are making the additional finance available, initially £25m to enable these things to happen.

“The adjacent retail park, which is an important part of the overall offer, needs some attention.

“Again, we have some good ideas to freshen this up and bring in some new names.

“The strength of this asset is supported by a strong shopping-hungry catchment who enjoy free parking, the ease of access of getting to the centre and we are going to do our best to make sure we satisfy them.”

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