Shopping centre sale to North Somerset Council confirmed

PUBLISHED: 09:59 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 06 August 2018

Weston's Sovereign Centre.

Weston's Sovereign Centre.

Archant

The sale of Weston-super-Mare’s Sovereign Shopping Centre to North Somerset Council has been confirmed today (Monday).

Weston's Sovereign Centre.Weston's Sovereign Centre.

The Mercury exclusively revealed in April how the council was involved in a multi-million-pound deal for the shopping centre, although details were kept under wraps and councillors agreed to the purchase in private.

Legal & General has bought the centre for £21million in partnership with the council.

It will let the building to the authority, which will keep 60 per cent of the building’s income, for 35 years. After that, the council will own the centre.

The starting rent will be £717,698 a year, rising with inflation and capped at four per cent. It is predicted the council will receive £1.1million a year from the rental income.

Weston's Sovereign Centre.Weston's Sovereign Centre.

Councillor David Pasley, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for asset management said: “This is a bold and innovative decision that will allow us to generate a significant annual income.

“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.

“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.

Weston's Sovereign Centre.Weston's Sovereign Centre.

“All this supports our vision to enhance the town centre which focuses on living, learning and lifestyle.”

The council bought North Worle District Centre for £38million last year.

Pete Gladwell, head of public sector partnerships at Legal & General, said: “Our support of North Somerset Council is a productive investment which 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, pick up a copy of the Weston Mercury on Thursday.

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