Blackpool Council buys shopping centre for £48m

Blackpool Council has purchased Houndshill Shopping Centre for £47.6m and will invest in its expansion as part of ongoing town centre regeneration plans.

Houndshill is home to more than 60 outlets, including the Debenham’s department store, and the deal includes its 770-space multi-storey car park. The council is also in the process of acquiring two adjacent units on Victoria Street, which form part of the centre but are under separate ownership.

The council now plans to add restaurants and a cinema to boost the resort's night time economy.

Negotiations and due diligence have been underway for several months and the final price tag is less than half of what current owners BCC Eiffel and its funders paid.

A Blackpool Council spokesperson, said: "This acquisition will deliver a significant financial return to the council but, more importantly, it will allow us to invest in a shopping centre that is fundamentally important to Blackpool’s future.

"Moving the centre into council ownership will provide significant benefits to our town and our residents. At the same time, we have the potential to unlock up to £50m of investment in the town through the Future High Streets and Towns Funds, which will undoubtedly give further momentum to the regeneration of the town centre.

This acquisition will allow us to invest in a shopping centre that is fundamentally important to Blackpool’s future.

“The centre trades well with high levels of occupancy and the income streams are strong. However, the company that owned it was clearly not in a position to make serious investment and that could ultimately have resulted in a decline in the centre which would not be good for Blackpool. All of the expert advice we have been given says that this is a great investment for the council."

Funding for the acquisition will be secured through Prudential Borrowing powers. 

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