The Mall Camberley will be purchased by Surrey Heath Borough Council as part of a deal worth around £86m.

The off-market deal will make up the bulk of more than £110m which is to be invested in the town centre in a bid to “kick-start” its regeneration.

Surrey Heath Borough Council is poised to buy the shopping centre and other assets owned by Capital & Regional, with other key town centre acquisitions in the pipeline.

The deal follows previous significant development projects in Camberley, including the opening of the Atrium leisure and retail complex and the purchase by the council of Ashwood House for redevelopment in 2015.

The council said the latest deal would create a clear path to deliver an ambitious vision for the town.

Councillor Moira Gibson, leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, said: “I have always believed that with the right investments and control of strategically important assets in Camberley, we can fulfil the council’s ambitions for the town centre – one that the residents of the borough and surrounding area are proud of and that will attract new business to the town.

“The belief and commitment of fellow councillors and officers in pursuit of this vision has been relentless and our efforts have put the council in pole position to succeed in the delivery of its number one priority.”

The Mall is a 390,000sq-ft, covered shopping centre and is home to more than 150 national and independent retailers.

Brands include Smiggle, O2, TopShop, Patisserie Valerie, Jones the Bootmaker and Monsoon, anchored by House of Fraser, Boots and Primark, all benefiting from an average weekly footfall of more than 170,000.

The council is funding the project through local government finance including loans from the Public Works Loans Board.

Karen Whelan, chief executive of Surrey Heath Borough Council, said: “The council’s investment in its own town centre is testament to its ambitions to make Camberley an exciting destination and ‘kick-start’ our regeneration proposals.

“These investments will help secure long term financial stability for the council as government funding for local authorities is reduced.

“Attracting high quality development and exciting new retailers and businesses starts with our own belief in our place.

“Making this financial commitment helps secure our plans for future development and improvements to the town.”

She added: “I would like to thank the council’s property advisers, Montagu Evans, and legal advisers, Addleshaw Goddard, who have helped secure this momentous deal for the council.”

James Ryman, investment director at Capital & Regional, said: “We have always enjoyed a positive working relationship with Surrey Heath and share their vision for the town centre.

“Recently it has become clear that the key to unlocking the true potential of the town lay with them and so we are pleased to see The Mall pass into the council’s hands.

“We have a great fondness for Camberley and have been glad to contribute positively to the real progress made in the town centre.

“We wish everyone involved all the very best in the continued delivery of this exciting project.”

Hugh Scott-Barrett, chief executive of Capital & Regional, added that his company’s “disposal” of The Mall had “originated from an unsolicited approach” made by the local authority.

Source – Get Surrey