Blyth Shopping Centre acquired ahead of major new development

Broadoak Asset Management has advised Northumberland County Council on the acquisition of the Keel Row Shopping Centre and adjoining properties in Blyth with a major new development planned for the site including new education, innovation and leisure facilities.

The Keel Row comprises some 58,000 square feet and a 300 space car park. However, like many UK retail outlets, it has been struggling for several years and is no longer commercially viable. The shopping centre remains open until a planned closure in 2024.

The site comprises approximately 3.6 acres and will be brought back into positive use as part of the £90m Energising Blyth regeneration programme to grow, renew and connect the town. The programme is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and funded in partnership through UK Government, Northumberland County Council, North of Tyne Combined Authority and support from other partners.

Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for Supporting Business and Opportunities, at Northumberland County Council, said: “The acquisition means we can bring forward more development in the town centre including investment in educational, innovation and cultural activities. This will make the town a more welcoming, safe and popular place to visit attracting a wide range of people wanting to work, learn and enjoy all the town has to offer.”

Northumberland County Council acquired the Keel Row from Northumberland Estates. Michael O’Driscoll, commercial property investment director at Northumberland Estates said: “We have owned Keel Row Shopping Centre and car park for several years and despite additional investment into the site and ongoing efforts to market retail units within the centre, there has been a sustained decline in tenancies.”

Jonathan Sykes, Director at Broadoak Asset Management who has worked on the project for some 18 months said: “This was a complicated transaction simultaneously acquiring these adjoining properties and working with the tenants to ensure that the council will be able to secure vacant possession as part of the wider site assembly. We have also sought to encourage retailers to remain in the town centre which together with the proposed redevelopment will help secure the future of Blyth.”

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