In August this year, the Council completed the purchase of Freshney Place shopping centre in Grimsby.
At the time, Council leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, confirmed that the Council would not be running the shopping centre itself, but it would seek to appoint external professional partners to undertake this on its behalf, subject to appropriate governance by the Council.
The economics, finances and long-term strategy of the shopping centre will all be scrutinised by members of the Council through various panels as part of the annual programme of work.
Given the significance of the asset, an additional Council Panel, the Freshney Place Cabinet Committee, will be introduced to have oversight of the annual plan, investment plans, and have the ability to discuss things like significant lettings.
“It’s important that we maintain overall control of the strategic direction of the shopping centre,” Cllr Jackson said. “This is a significant town centre asset, with a huge footprint. By buying the shopping centre, it has allowed us to encompass it within our regeneration plans rather than working alongside it.”
There are two core functions the Council needed to run the shopping centre:
Asset Management: dealing with leases, tenancies and commercial use of the space. Queensberry Retail has been appointed to undertake this element.
Property Management: dealing with the day to day running of the infrastructure, including things like security, maintenance etc. Montagu Evans have been appointed to undertake this element.
Both appointments are on a temporary short-term basis after which longer-term arrangements will be procured.