Chatsworth House owner swoops for shopping centre

The company which counts Chatsworth House in its portfolio has has bought the Peak Shopping Village.

The Devonshire Property Group (DPG) says the outlet centre has “exciting potential”.

The company has acquired the site for an undisclosed sum.

The Devonshire Property Group is a part of the Devonshire Group of companies that represent the interests of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and includes nearby Chatsworth, as well as Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire and Lismore Castle in Ireland.

DPG approached the previous site owner, a “significant property investor in multiple countries”, and completed the sale on 11 January, following several months of negotiations.

DPG says it will work with the existing management team to improve the site, with immediate actions to include some essential repairs and redecoration. There are no current plans to expand the site or create a discount Chatsworth Gift Shop or Farm Shop.

More than 30 shops currently operate at Peak Shopping Village, which employs between 80 and 100 people. National names such as Pavers Shoes, Leading Labels, The Gift Company and Regatta operate alongside independents such as The Woolroom. The site hosts events year round, including regular Makers Markets showcasing the talent of local artisans, and its biggest event, the Peak Festive Spectacular at Christmas.

The Devonshire Group has experience in retail through its existing operations at Chatsworth (the estate farm shop and gift shops) and at Bolton Abbey and is a landlord to many retail outlets across its estates.

Lord Burlington, the Duke of Devonshire’s son, and Stephen Vickers, CEO of the Devonshire Group have been heavily involved in the planning and negotiation of the purchase.

Vickers said: “We believe Peak Shopping Village has exciting potential and we see a bright future for jobs and growth. Our ultimate aim is for the site to realise its full potential as an important contributor to the fabric of the local economy, and we will be developing our plans for achieving this in the coming months.”

Lord Burlington added: “Our team has the experience and expertise to help to reinvigorate Peak Shopping Village so that it’s a better experience for shop owners and those who use the office space. We are determined to make it the best it can be, both for our local communities and for the experience of visitors to the area. For us, it’s an exciting, long-term investment in Derbyshire, at the gateway to the Peak District National Park and the Chatsworth Estate.”

This investment is unrelated to any of the visitor facing businesses at either the Chatsworth or the Bolton Abbey Estates. The purchase is a capital transaction funded from the sale of commercial assets in Eastbourne.

The nearby conservation area and nature trail managed by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is part of the sale and the Devonshire Group aims to support it in future with a renewed education focus and experience for visitors to the shopping village. The nearby allotments are not part of the sale.

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