New owner for Castle Mall
Shopping centre group The Mall Corporation has bought Norwich's Castle Mall in a £115m deal.The Mall Corporation owns a range of other shopping centres in the country, including The Mall Sutton Coldfield and The Mall Chester.
Shopping centre group the Mall Corporation has bought Norwich's Castle Mall in a £115m deal.
The Mall Corporation owns a range of other shopping centres in the country, including the Mall Sutton Coldfield and the Mall Chester.
It plans to work with existing tenants to develop the shopping centre, which is celebrating its 10th birthday this year.
Castle Mall will face huge competition from the development of the £275m Chapelfield shopping centre on the former Nestlé site.
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That centre, complete with a new House of Fraser store, is due to open in 2005 - with fears it will take shoppers away from Castle Mall.
But Ken Ford, chief executive of the Mall Corporation, said he believed Chapelfield would ultimately benefit the city as a whole, attracting more shoppers.
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He said: “We would not have invested in Castle Mall if we thought it was not going to work.
“Over the past 10 years Castle Mall has earned strong and loyal consumer support through its range of both local and national retailers. We plan to build on those firm foundations to ensure that Castle Mall fulfils our aim to provide the right retail mix, in the right environment, right on the doorstep.
“These are exciting times for Norwich as a retail and visitor destination.
“Our commitment to the future of Castle Mall, coupled with the current development of Chapelfield, will create an environment in which Norwich can thrive and the local community can feel pride.”
Under the deal the current owner, ISIS Asset Management, has agreed to invest £115m in the Mall Corporation in return for a stake in the business.
Castle Mall comprises 80 shops including Virgin Megastore, Boots, New Look and Argos as well as the eight screen Ster Century cinema.
The Mall Corporation was set up by Morley Fund Management, part of insurance group Aviva, and property firm Capital and Regional.