Northampton

Corby council says town centre 'to be sold'

Willow Place, Corby
Image caption Willow Place was constructed after Land Securities took over as town centre owners six years ago

Corby town centre is to be sold by its owner, Land Securities, according to the chief executive of Corby Borough Council.

Chris Mallender, who met with Land Securities earlier, said the property company "feels it's now time to hand over to somebody else".

The 750,000 sq ft (69,677 sq m) of retail and office space is expected to be sold for £72m, said Mr Mallender.

A Land Securities spokeswoman described the sale as "speculation".

The council's deputy leader, Mark Pengelley, also attended the meeting and said the company will be leaving the town "in very good shape".

He added that he is looking forward to a new owner bringing more investment to the town.

Land Securities acquired the town centre when it bought the previous owners, Tops Estates, in 2005.

They regenerated town centre shops by building the £40m Willow Place two years later.

Mr Mallender told BBC Radio Northampton that they now want phase two of the redevelopment to attract a department store, "probably Debenhams or Marks and Spencer".

He hopes the council will be able to invest in the town centre.

"I have already spoken to two developers who are interested in exploring further working with the borough council," he added.

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