As part of its ambitions for the long-term success of Farnborough town centre, Rushmoor Borough Council has now completed its purchase of The Meads and Kingsmead shopping centre.
The move means that the council now has much greater control to be able to deliver its vision for Farnborough town centre, created with local people, as an attractive destination where residents and visitors choose to go and spend time.
It also supports its wider regeneration plans for the civic quarter where outline planning consent is now in place for redevelopment that will include a new leisure and cultural hub, shops and commercial development, energy-efficient homes, and a new central park.
The purchase includes the Sainsbury’s supermarket, car park and neighbouring shops, the Travelodge hotel, Wetherspoon’s public house, gym and play centre, along with 70 homes. The Kingsmead shopping centre contains 24 shop units, as well as the Vue cinema and business centre and multi-storey car park.
The council has appointed leading property management company Eddisons to manage The Meads and Kingsmead on its behalf. Income generated from both will help facilitate delivery of the council’s regeneration plans, in particular the new leisure and cultural hub, detailed proposals for which are due to come forward later this year.
The acquisition also covers two vacant blocks which were earmarked for redevelopment but not progressed by the previous owner. Over time, the council will bring forward proposals for these sites.
Councillor Martin Tennant, the council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for major projects and property, said: “We know that our residents and businesses want our town centres to be better than they are now – and we agree wholeheartedly with them.
“We’ve made massive progress in Aldershot, where our Union Yard development is just one year from completion and will help to transform the town centre.
“The purchase of The Meads and Kingsmead is a fantastic opportunity for the council to take greater control of the town centre and help drive its future prosperity. We are in it for the long-haul, but we firmly believe it’s the start of a new era for Farnborough.”
The council’s Cabinet agreed to buy The Meads and Kingsmead from St Modwen in February. The sale was completed on Thursday 25 May. The purchase does not include Princes Mead, which was bought last year by Sovereign Housing Association.