Billingham Town Centre
This purchase, in two separate transactions on balance sheet, gave us control of the freehold town centre of 250,000 sq ft with 100 tenants approx. The centre consisted of a number of blocks around an open pedestrian precinct. With a limited history of asset management and modest rental levels, there was a real opportunity to push net incomes materially forward.
Discussions took place with the key stakeholders, in particular with the public bodies, to work with them to enhance the appearance of the centre. Having suffered from limited investment, there was the opportunity to inject new capital into refurbishment projects across the centre. Key sites were identified to introduce new retailers into the town and smaller units targeted to expand and accommodate national retailers, improving the shopping offer. The extensive number of outstanding lease events by way of reviews, breaks and expiries also offered the opportunity to improve net income. Centre management was brought in-house to ensure the many challenges could be directly addressed
Substantial progress has been made to increase net incomes by £400,000 pa approx, with the introduction of new retailers including Poundland, B&M , Grainger Games, Semi Chem, Cheque Centres etc, whilst extending the leases of many of the existing tenants. Real progress has been made with the Council in co-funding a programme of public works to enhance the centre, whilst the Council continue with their major programme of public works in the town centre. Further opportunities to bring in new retailers to the town centre are at an advanced stage of discussion.