Medway Council has acquired a high street shopping centre as part of its plans to become more self-supporting.
The unitary authority has taken over the lease of the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham town centre for £34.8million.
Medway has become the biggest regeneration zone within the Thames Gateway due to the significant transformation of the area and its ongoing 20-year regeneration programme. Medway is fast becoming known as the new economic powerhouse for the south-east with an economy worth £5.17billion.
In February, Medway’s Full Council agreed to acquire the Pentagon Centre, alongside other included freehold properties, and up to £45million was added to the Capital Programme to allow for the acquisition of the centre’s head leases, fees and additional enabling works.
The acquisition is anticipated to provide Medway Council with the opportunity to generate an annual income of £1million which will be used to support council finances and services for local residents.
It also provides the council with an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing regeneration of Chatham.
The council has recently invested £4million, secured from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, to carry out major improvement works in Chatham town centre. The Chatham Placemaking project has helped transform the area and the regeneration works contribute towards turning Chatham into Medway’s leading waterfront university city centre by 2035.
Improving the area for our residents
Perry Holmes, Chief Legal Officer at Medway Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Medway with lots of investment projects underway to help improve the area for our residents. The acquisition of the Pentagon Centre complements the improvement works which have already taken place in Chatham town centre as part of Medway’s monumental 20-year regeneration programme.
“Medway is an innovative council and we are continuing to demonstrate that we are committed to shaping the future of our town centres to further boost the local economy and provide more opportunities for our residents. Medway is already a fantastic place to live, work, learn and visit, and the area’s regeneration programme will further improve this.”