Councils write down value of retail investments

Festival Place shopping centre, Basingstoke

The crisis engulfing the high street has sent the value of councils’ retail investments crashing, Property Week can reveal.

Analysis of the accounts of some of the biggest-spending councils, including Stockport, Shropshire and Basingstoke, reveals the damage wreaked by the ongoing woes in the retail sector.

Stockport Council reported that the value of the Merseyway Shopping Centre, which it bought out of administration in 2017, had fallen by £16.4m to £43m in the year to the end of April.

In its accounts, the council blamed “a number of factors” for the reduced valuation, including the weak retail market. “This turbulence has been evident in Stockport town centre with the closure of stores including BHS and Marks & Spencer,” it said.

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