North Somerset Council buys shopping centre

North Somerset Council has joined forces with Legal and General to buy the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston-super-Mare.

The purchase is part of the council’s commercial investment strategy and the local authority believes it will generate an income of £1m a year which will be put back into vital local public services.

It also forms part of the council’s plans for the regeneration of Weston-super-Mare’s town centre, which also includes the major expansion and development of Weston College, the construction of Dolphin Square leisure complex and significant improvements to the seafront.

‘This is a bold and innovative decision that will allow us to generate a significant annual income,’ said the council’s executive member with responsibility for asset management, Cllr David Pasley.

‘In the face of diminishing government funding and cut-backs, we have to take big steps to replace the funding we depend upon to continue essential public services,’ added Cllr Pasley.

‘As the traditional high street continues to change, the council is making a major commitment of confidence in our local economy, community and business sectors.

‘We will be exploring options around how a re-focused Sovereign Centre can add to the vibrancy of the town centre, encouraging local independents to take space, looking at family-focused activities and seeing whether other services could be operated from units in the centre as well as retail.

‘All this supports our vision to enhance the town centre which focuses on living, learning and lifestyle,’ added Cllr Pasley.

This is the second purchase the council has made since members approved the creation of a Property Investment fund last year.

The first was the £38m North World District Centre.

In June, Bolton Council bought the Crompton Place shopping centre for £14.8 million to help kickstart its town centre regeneration masterplan.

The head of public sector partnerships at Legal & General, Pete Gladwell, commented: ‘Our support of North Somerset Council is a productive investment that supports the original source of society’s wealth – communities across the UK.

‘By partnering with a progressive and proactive council, we can enable the regeneration of necessary retail provision for the area, deliver them sizeable revenue surpluses, and act as a catalyst for their plans for wider regeneration, boosting local jobs, homes, and driving economic growth.’

For more information on the regeneration of Weston-super-Mare visit the council’s website.


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