Planning and Housing

30.04.19

Medway Council in £35m shopping centre purchase as part of major regeneration programme

Medway Council has acquired a high street shopping centre for £35m as part of a major regeneration programme.

The unitary authority has taken over the lease of the Pentagon Shopping centre in Chatham town centre for £34.8m, and is anticipated to provide Medway with the opportunity to generate an annual income of £1m to be used to support council finances and services.

The plan to acquire the Pentagon Centre was initially supported by the council in February alongside other property purchases, and £45m was added to the capital programme to allow for the acquisition of the centre’s head leases, fees and additional enabling works.

Medway Council said it has become the biggest regeneration zone within the Thames Gateway due to its ongoing 20-year transformational programme, and said it was “fast becoming known as the new economic powerhouse for the south-east.”

The new deal comes as part of an ongoing scheme to regenerate Chatham town centre, and the authority also recently invested £4m through the government’s local growth fund into major improvements at the shopping centre.

Perry Holmes, chief legal officer at the council, commented: “This is an exciting time for Medway with lots of investment projects underway to help improve the area for our residents.

“The acquisition of the Pentagon Centre complements the improvement works which have already taken place in Chatham town centre as part of Medway’s monumental 20-year regeneration programme.”

Holmes added: “Medway is an innovative council and we are continuing to demonstrate that we are committed to shaping the future of our town centres to further boost the local economy and provide more opportunities for our residents.

“Medway is already a fantastic place to live, work, learn and visit, and the area’s regeneration programme will further improve this.”

Councils have come under criticism for spending significant amounts of money on shopping centres – yet authority spending has risen to record levels in the last year, spending more than £800m in the last three years to revive struggling town centres.

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