Shopping centre is now council owned

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council has been unveiled as the new owner of the town’s Alhambra Shopping Centre.

Andrew Foster and Nathan Pask of Watling Real Estate were appointed LPA receivers on the shopping centre in November 2021.

The council has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to purchase the long leasehold of the centre, which runs for 150 years to April 2139.

Funding for the purchase of the leasehold and redevelopment work has been agreed with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

The sale follows a two-year period of asset management, which was overseen by Watling Real Estate, during which a number of key lettings were completed. Occupiers within the shopping centre include Primark, Poundstretcher, Iceland and EE.

Rob Cruikshank, associate director in the Leeds office of Watling Real Estate, said: “The acquisition secures local authority investment for an asset that is positioned in a challenged area of the market.

“We worked extensively with retailers to stabilise the centre, creating a strong tenant line up and rent roll, thus providing a solid platform for an incoming purchaser to fully consider the long-term options for the property.

“The purchase will help to align the council’s strategic objectives for place making within Barnsley town centre.”

The Alhambra Shopping Centre provides 156,149 sq ft of retail space in 40 units on two malls.

Law firm DLA Piper LLP acted for the receivers, and the council was advised by its in-house legal team.