The Arndale Centre will be sold and the derelict Frontierland site redeveloped in two deals which will transform Morecambe’s shopping future.
NewRiver Retail – the UK’s third largest owner of shopping centres – looks set to buy the Arndale and is planning a major investment in the town centre.
The sale of the Arndale was revealed as city councillors gave a thumbs up to a £17m shopping park in the West End.
The Bay Shopping Park complex at the former Frontierland Wild West theme park was granted planning permission yesterday (Monday).
Subject to final approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, a new retail park of shops, restaurants, cafes, a hotel and a pub with 336 car parking spaces will be built at the ex-fairground. Sue Byers, manager of the Arndale Centre, broke news of the prospective sale to Monday’s packed meeting of Lancaster City Council planning committee.
Mrs Byers said current owners JAP (Morecambe) LLP had “reluctantly” agreed to sell.
She said: “We accept that the centre is declining.
“New River Retail see a real opportunity to reinvigorate the centre and want to inject significant capital into it.”
Mrs Byers asked the planning committee to delay a decision on the Bay Shopping Park until a presentation could be made to the council on the Arndale sale. But her plea fell on deaf ears.
NewRiver Retail manages 27 shopping centres in the UK.