£14m Arndale sale ‘great news’

The Arndale centre in Morecambe.
The Arndale centre in Morecambe.

A high-flying retail firm has completed a £14m buy-out of the Arndale.

NewRiver Retail has pledged to give a fresh look to the Morecambe 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.