Grimsby’s Freshney Place shopping centre is facing the possibility of being rescued by the local council, as it has recently entered receivership. To prevent the loss of 1,700 jobs, the North East Lincolnshire Council has proposed purchasing the struggling mall for £25 million. Currently up for sale, the shopping centre’s future remains uncertain. Recognizing the potential decline that could occur if a new owner fails to invest in the centre, the council has made a bid to save it, highlighting its importance to the economic and community infrastructure of Grimsby town centre.

Freshney Place is a significant retail destination in the area, with major brands such as M&S, Next, JD Sports, and Primark among its tenants. In fact, it makes up 60% of the town centre’s retail offerings and supports one in five jobs in the local community. The council recognizes the catastrophic impact that the decline of the shopping centre would have on the town centre as a whole.

If successful, the council plans to appoint external asset managers to oversee the operation of Freshney Place, ensuring an “arms-length” approach. While the council acknowledges that it hasn’t been able to fully capitalize on the shopping centre’s potential, the purchase would give them a stronger platform to contribute to the overall revitalization of the town centre.

Other councils, such as Burnley Council and Bury Council, have already taken similar measures to purchase struggling shopping centres in their areas. This proactive approach has also been seen in Nottingham and Hull, where redevelopment projects have been undertaken to revitalize their city and town centres.

The North East Lincolnshire Council’s intention to acquire Freshney Place demonstrates their commitment to preserving an essential element of Grimsby town centre and preventing further decline. This purchase provides an opportunity for the council to play a more active role in the transformation and long-term prosperity of the town centre.

Useful Links:
1. Grimsby Telegraph: Grimsby council to purchase Freshney Place shopping centre
2. Investing in Lincolnshire: Achieving Growth Diagnostic Report