Rochdale Council prepares Wheatsheaf bid

ROCHDALE Council is pursuing its attempt to buy the town’s Wheatsheaf shopping centre from administrators, understands.

The centre, which was opened in 1990, had previously been owned by Bedell Corporate Trustees and Atrium Trustees. However, it has been in administration since August last year and the council began talks to buy it earlier this year.

Although the centre has several voids and its huge TJ Hughes store is due to close tomorrow, the centre is understood to be of strategic importance due to its links with the proposed new £150m foodstore-led town centre regeneration being masterminded by Manchester-based Genr8 Developments.

Andy Zuntz, executive director at Rochdale Borough Council, said the council was “considering all the relevant information regarding buying the Wheatsheaf Centre and continue to have discussions with the owners”.

“No final conclusions have been reached but we hope the position will change over the next few weeks.”

Rochdale Member of Parliament Simon Danczuk said that with Rochdale Council facing the prospect of making cuts of £64m, many local people would question a potential move to spend millions of pounds on the centre.

“The government is already telling local authorities to sell off assets, so I find it strange that Rochdale Council might consider buying a centre of this kind,” he said.

“If it is such a good deal and the new town centre is dependent on it, why doesn’t Genr8 buy the centre?”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...