A shopping centre in South Tyneside is set to be revamped after it was snapped up for £2.4million by investors.
Hebburn Shopping Centre,in Station Road, is now due to undergo a significant refurbishment to create a better environment for both retailers and shoppers after being bought by a North East business consortium.
The 2.01-acre site will be rebranded as The Mountbatten Shopping Centre - named after Lord Mountbatten, who commanded the famous Hebburn-built destroyer HMS Kelly during the Second World War.
Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy on South Tyneside Council, says he is delighted by the move and believes it due to public spending by the local authority in the town.
He said: “Regeneration of our towns and villages is one of our strategic priorities.
“Hebburn is a prime example of how public investment gives the private sector the confidence to invest, and shows how local authorities can become real drivers of economic change in their communities.”
The site was acquired through leading North East chartered surveyors and estate agents Bradley Hall, with assistance from financial advisers KSM Associates and law firm Gordon Brown.
Richard Rafique, director at Bradley Hall, said: “This particular site has great potential to be the go-to shopping centre in South Tyneside.
“The investors have expressed a great interest in creating an attractive area for retailers and the general public, whilst maintaining its current tenants and also attracting new national and local businesses.
“Bradley Hall will be managing the site moving forward, ensuring that tenants are well looked after and that the owners receive a good return on their investment.”
National stores including Herons Frozen Foods, Boots and Subway currently occupy the units, with local businesses including hairdressers, laundrettes and newsagents also trading from the site.
Kourosh Manoucheri, managing director at KSM Associates said: “This is a fantastic investment to develop a site with a wealth of opportunities.
“The investors can look forward to a good return on investment and a high rental yield. The purchase could also encourage improvement in the local area, boosting employment and business opportunities.”
He added: “The syndicate were ably represented by their solicitor Gordon Brown and Richard Brown of Gordon Brown Law Firm llp, whose experienced and practical approach greatly facilitated the transaction, complementing the value that the investors anticipate their acquisition will bring to the local community.”
Good luck certainly does come in “threes” for residents living in Hebburn.
The latest development is the third in recent times – which aim to help bring the town back to its former glory.
Last week it was announced food giants Aldi would be starting work on their new store in the town next year.
The German company, which has more than 9,000 stores worldwide, will be redeveloping land off Glen Street, which will also see a free customer car park with 70 spaces being created.
Coun Adam Ellison, a Labour representative for the Hebburn North ward, said: “The people of Hebburn deserve investment in their town centre from the private sector. I’m delighted that Aldi will be coming to Hebburn.”
Last year also saw the opening of the Hebburn Central – which was a centre piece for the town’s regeneration plans.
The £12.8million hub is spread over two-storeys.
The building includes a six-lane swimming pool, a learner pool with bubble pools, sauna and steam room, library, learning centre and cafe, as well as meeting rooms, a customer service centre and an outdoor games area.
Coun John McCabe, a Labour representative for the Hebburn South ward, added: “It’s encouraging that businesses are coming to Hebburn, that’s what we want.
“We want plenty of stores for people to be able to go to and businesses should be looking at Hebburn and the number of new properties and realising they should be coming here.”