Council ‘close’ to taking control of Chesterfield’s Pavements Shopping Centre
Chesterfield Borough Council says it is ‘close’ to taking control of a shopping centre in the town.
Councillors voted in favour of acquiring the leasehold of the Pavements Shopping Centre earlier this year.
In a new statement, a council spokesperson said: “The future of the Pavements Shopping Centre – which is a central focus of retail in the town centre – is close to being secured under plans for the council to take control of the key site.
“The opportunity to purchase the leasehold came up last year.
“Subject to completion of sale terms, and by taking full control of the indoor centre, we’ll be putting the Pavements at the heart of our ambitious plans for the town centre.”
The council already owns the land on which the shopping centre is built – but the leasehold is held by a successor company to the CIN Pension Fund which originally built the Pavements in the early 1980s.
The council said it had taken specialist advice from property investment experts who concluded the move was financially prudent.
But Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Borrell said: “Long before Covid hit, high streets everywhere have been struggling due to out-of-town competition and the rise of internet shopping.
"Currently over 45 per cent of all shopping is being done online. The council taking full ownership of the Pavements at this time is therefore not only expensive but very challenging to say the least.”
After councillors voted in favour of acquiring the leasehold, the Derbyshire Times asked the council how much this would cost and whether the authority was able to give any more information about its plans for the shopping centre if the deal goes ahead.
However, a council spokesperson said that ‘due to commercial sensitivities’ they could not comment further.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the council, said: “By taking exclusive control of the Pavements we will have gained a fantastic opportunity for Chesterfield.
“It’s a chance to re-imagine and re-purpose the current shopping centre and, in time, create a landmark mixed-use regeneration scheme.
“We can ensure the centre is well-maintained and can look at bringing in new retail and leisure that complements what we already have in our town.”