Arch buys Northumberland shopping centre

Manor Walks Shopping & Leisure, in Cramlington.
Manor Walks Shopping & Leisure, in Cramlington.

Cramlington’s shopping and leisure hub has been bought for £78million by Arch – the development company wholly owned by Northumberland County Council.

Arch is set to strengthen its property portfolio after exchanging contracts for the purchase of Manor Walks Shopping Centre from Hammerson plc for £78million.

The centre is located in the heart of Cramlington and currently attracts 10 million visitors a year.

The property acquisition includes: Manor Walks covered shopping centre of 442,802 sq ft (41,138 sq m); food store anchor tenants Sainsbury’s and Asda; key national retailers including Boots, Barclays, Iceland, Dorothy Perkins, Superdrug, HSBC, New Look; nine-screen multiplex cinema (let to VUE) with food operators including Nandos, Prezzo, Frankie and Benny’s; three office blocks, part-let to Northumberland County Council and other occupiers; three car parks with a total of around 1500 spaces; the former Northumberland County Council library building.

Dave Ledger, chairman of Arch, said: “Cramlington is the largest growing town in Northumberland and Manor Walks Shopping Centre is a vital local amenity for our communities.

“It is the largest shopping centre in the county and plays a key role in the economy of the county. The purchase by Arch is an exciting development which will add to the economic regeneration of the county.

“Under Arch ownership there is the potential to expand the shopping centre and to improve the surrounding infrastructure, including roads, access and parking at the centre and enabling further benefits to the local economy.”

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth at Northumberland County Council, said: “Manor Walks Shopping Centre is the largest shopping centre in the county. As one of our market towns, Arch’s plans to develop Manor Walks in Cramlington can only be a good thing; boosting the local and wider economy.”

Manor Walks is currently managed by Workman LLP, one of the UK’s leading property management companies specialising in shopping centre management, with six staff based in Cramlington. Arch plans to retain the current management arrangements and carry out best practice reviews.

The latest acquisition diversifies Arch’s portfolio and brings the value to more than £216million.