Local authorities across the UK are poised to spend an additional £230m on acquiring shopping centres in the coming year, in an effort to redevelop town centres with high vacancy rates.
Councils have spent £775m buying shopping centres over the past three years – snapping up one in five of the total number acquired.
The extra investment will bring the total to just over £1bn, according to research from shopping centre trade body Revo and property advisory firm Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).
”A lot of shopping centres are being bought for regeneration,” said Steve Norris, head of planning, development and regeneration at LSH, in the report published by The Guardian.
”They might be failing assets in town centres where shop vacancies are high. Councils are going in to revitalise those sites, bringing in residential above or repurposing vacant units with something other than retail.”