Knowsley Council has confirmed that it has completed the purchase of Prescot Shopping Centre for £1.3 million.
The shopping centre, located in the heart of the Prescot, was previously in private ownership, with Groupe Geraud UK, and was identified as a key site to further the regeneration of the town. However, in contrast to the successful development of the wider town centre in recent years, the shopping centre has declined in terms of occupancy levels, footfall and overall physical condition.
As a result, Knowsley Council has been in negotiation for some time to acquire the site, which also includes the former Stephenson’s Printworks building, additional retail units on Eccleston Street and Market Place and all car parking at the shopping centre.
With the site now in their ownership, Knowsley Council has reopened the full car park on site ensuring all car parking spaces are available. The council also plans to make improvements to the shopping centre to attract new occupiers and will begin work on additional shop front improvements on Eccleston Street. The council is also planning to consult with the community and local businesses for their views on the future of the centre.
By buying the site, the council is also able to secure future car parking provision in the town centre, providing spaces for the many visitors to the town and to support the new Shakespeare North Playhouse.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development commented:
“The Council has been extremely ambitious with its drive to regenerate Prescot town centre and we have certainly led the way with our investment and commitment to building the iconic Shakespeare North Playhouse.
“Our ambition has led to even more investment from partners and private developers which has in turn led to a huge transformation across the town centre with thriving businesses, new restaurants, and bars, improvements to public realm and public transport. We have definitely seen the results of the ‘Shakespeare effect’ taking hold.
“The successful regeneration of Prescot town centre continues to be a strategic priority for the Council and our primary purpose for acquiring the shopping centre is to keep up the positive momentum we have so far achieved and to continue to drive this regeneration.
“The shopping centre is in the heart of Prescot town centre, and we have ambitions for it to become a vibrant and valuable space which will support the needs and aspirations of the local businesses within the town centre, for our residents and for the many visitors to the town.”
Knowsley Council has spearheaded the regeneration of Prescot town centre with its investment and commitment to the building of the Shakespeare North Playhouse, which opened earlier this year and has welcomed more than 28,000 people through its doors in the first 2 months of opening. The town has also benefited from significant investment into new and high-quality public realm, the restoration and repurposing of historic buildings and spaces and extensive improvements to public transport facilities.
The acquisition of the shopping centre supports the Masterplan for Prescot town centre, which was adopted in 2016, and is yet another positive step forward in the town’s renaissance as a visitor destination.
As part of the acquisition a Property Management Agreement with Workman LLP, who will manage the day to day running of the centre, will transfer from Groupe Geraud to Knowsley Council. Staff who work at the shopping centre and were employed by Groupe Geraud, will TUPE to Workman LLP.
Now that the acquisition is complete, Knowsley Council will progress with its plans for early improvements to the shopping centre and to explore opportunities for the further investment into and development of the site in the future.
The council has reopened the car parking areas that the previous owners recently closed.
Consultation and Engagement
The council will carry out a public consultation with local residents, businesses and visitors to the shopping centre to understand their views on the future of the shopping centre.
Improvements to shop fronts on Eccleston Street
The shop fronts of retail units on Eccleston Street, which are part of the shopping centre, will benefit from improvements similar to those seen elsewhere in the town.
New retailers and services
The council will aim to bring new retailers, occupiers and services to the empty units in the shopping centre to help improve the offer to residents and shoppers.
Explore future development and investment opportunities
Prescot Shopping Centre is identified as a key investment and development site in the Prescot Town Centre Masterplan and the council will carry out work to explore viable options for the development of this site.
Please contact Invest Knowsley on 0151 477 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for all letting and investment enquiries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has the council bought Prescot Shopping Centre?
The successful regeneration of Prescot town centre is a strategic priority for Knowsley Council. Prescot Shopping Centre is identified in the Prescot Town Centre Masterplan as a key opportunity site, but over the years the shopping centre has continued to decline in terms of occupancy levels, footfall, and overall physical condition. The Council’s acquisition of the Shopping Centre, from Groupe Geraud, will help to bring long term improvements and allows the chance to explore future investment and development opportunities that local businesses and residents want to see.
How much has it cost the council to buy the shopping centre?
A price of £1.3m will be paid for:
- Prescot Shopping Centre and all retail units
- Car park
- The former Stephenson’s Printworks building
- 16-20 Eccleston Street
- 30 Eccleston Street
- 12 Aspinall Street
- 5 and 19 Market Place
How is the purchase being funded?
The acquisition will be funded from an allocation of the future capital receipts arising from the Council’s previously approved Housing and Commercial Land Disposal Strategies.
Will the shopping centre be demolished?
As part of early improvements to the site, the council is exploring the option to demolish the vacant former Stephenson Print building. This building has been an eyesore and in a state of disrepair for a number of years. There are currently no immediate plans to demolish other parts of the shopping centre.
What will happen to existing tenants?
As part of the acquisition by Knowsley Council a Property Management Agreement with Workman LLP, who will manage the day to day running of the centre and associated assets, will transfer from the previous owners of the shopping centre to the Council.
What will happen to Prescot library and museum?
There are no plans to relocate Prescot library and museum and they will remain open as usual.
What will happen to the current shopping centre staff?
Shopping centre staff will TUPE to Workman LLP.