Council buys Fareham Shopping Centre

Fareham Borough Council has today confirmed that it has bought Fareham Shopping Centre and several adjoining properties on West Street from Madone Ltd. The £14.25M acquisition forms part of the Council’s broader regeneration programme, which includes £16.7M for Fareham Live and £2.5M to replace Osborn Road multi storey car park, which has reached the end of its useful life, with a modern surface car park.

The shopping centre has a key role to play both now and in the future, and ownership will enable the Council to provide stability and reassurance to its tenants as it works with them and other key partners to develop a new all-encompassing strategy leading to a more vibrant town centre.

Specialist shopping centre advisors, RivingtonHark, have been appointed by the Council to advise on strategic direction and improvements to the shopping centre that will benefit both shoppers and businesses. The day-to-day management will continue to be delivered by Munroe K which will retain its constant presence in Fareham Shopping Centre.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, said:

“Purchasing the shopping centre presents a unique strategic opportunity for the Council to take control of key assets at the heart of the town centre at a time when we are developing a new strategy to transform the current offer and enhance its appeal. The unprecedented levels of funding we are injecting into this area underline the significance we place on having a vibrant, economically successful town centre and send a clear signal to the market that Fareham town centre remains very much open for business.

“It is important to say that the acquisition will form part of a long-term regeneration strategy for Fareham town centre, and we will work with the businesses that trade there to understand their views around what is required to improve the vibrancy of our town centre.

“There will be a full programme of public engagement and consultation, using a wide variety of methods, over the next six months to ensure that the long-term plans for the town centre are driven by the needs and aspirations of Fareham’s residents, businesses, shoppers and visitors alike.

“A key early priority will be to look at how the town’s evening economy can be enhanced by improving routes between the successful restaurants and bars in West Street and the Fareham Live venue in the evenings, for when it opens in 2024.”

Mark Williams, Executive Director and co-founder of RivingtonHark, said:

“RivingtonHark is delighted to support Fareham Borough Council following this strategically important acquisition. Fareham Shopping Centre offers huge potential to improve the wider town offering and we look forward to working with the Borough Council in evolving and influencing those plans.”

As owner of the shopping centre, the Council can now take a view of the town centre as a whole. Work on a new regeneration strategy for Fareham town centre, which will seek to build on its positive aspects and identify ways it can be improved, is well underway.