Letchworth shopping centre set for sale
A SHOPPING centre is expected to be sold by today (Friday), according to its current owners.
A deal for Garden Square Shopping Centre, situated in the heart of Letchworth GC town centre, is now said to be imminent after the Comet reported last month that it had been put on the market.
Speaking on behalf of owners Tyburn Vale Letchworth Limited Partnership, director Chris Willans confirmed on Wednesday an offer for the shopping centre had been made and the company is in the process of going through legal checks.
He added: “We hope it will be completed by the end of the month.”
Shopping centre manager Colin Bell said he was aware that discussions were ongoing.
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Based in Commerce Way and Central Approach, the precinct has 39 retail units – including high street chains Argos, Boots, Costa Coffee, Iceland, New Look, Superdrug and The Body Shop – with a number currently vacant or under short-term leases.
Clinton Cards closed in July although a Boots Opticians opened earlier this month in a vacant store opposite.
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Letchworth GC town centre manager Lee Boswell said: “It’s good news to hear that a deal is imminent and hopefully any new company coming in can work with existing stakeholders to strengthen the town.”
Letchworth GC MP Oliver Heald said he would like to meet the new owners, if and when a deal is concluded.
He added: “I hope this means a stable future for this important shopping area of the garden city. It’s good that the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation is doing some work to improve The Wynd and if we can make improvements in the town square then that would be very good news for Letchworth. I wait with bated breath to hear the full details of what the new owners plan to do, assuming it goes ahead.”
Tim Hutchings, chief executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called it a “vote of confidence” for the town but said it was down to customers to use the shopping centre to make it a success.
“It seems like positive news and a vote of confidence in Letchworth, particularly at a time when the retail sector is facing difficulty,” said Mr Hutchings.
“People are realising some action is called for but what we need on top of that is the customer to use these facilities.”