Brunswick Shopping Centre in Scarborough sold to developer with hopes of including new cinema

The Brunswick Shopping Centre in Scarborough has been sold.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 8:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 9:21 am
The Brunswick Shopping Centre in Scarborough town centre. (The Scarborough Group)

Scarborough Partnership Ltd, an associated company of Scarborough Group International (SGI), has acquired the Scarborough town centre retail venue for an undisclosed sum.

SGI is now in talks with Scarborough Borough Council to develop a new vision for the centre, incorporating a range of additional uses including leisure and food and drink, in order to cement it as the premier retail and leisure destination on the Yorkshire coast.

Though nothing has yet been agreed, the inclusion of a cinema is being explored.

When complete the purchase will mark SGI’s return to the shopping centre market, having primarily focussed on developing office and residential assets in recent years.

The Brunswick in Westborough is the only enclosed shopping and leisure centre in the whole of the borough of Scarborough and currently provides 130,000 sq ft of prime retail space featuring 31 outlets with brands including Next, New Look and Holland & Barrett.

The centre had demonstrated a strong performance since opening in 1990, attracting an annual average footfall of 7 million at its peak.

However, changing consumer shopping habits, accelerated by the pandemic, resulted in a decline in footfall and the loss of its anchor tenant, Debenhams.

Scott McCabe, Director at SGI, said: "Our acquisition of The Brunswick Shopping Centre is fully aligned with SGI’s strategy of regenerating our former industrial heartlands across the north of England, as demonstrated by our flagship projects at Middlewood Locks, Salford, Thorpe Park, Leeds, Sheffield Digital Campus and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

“There is a widely held perception that the Northern Powerhouse is constrained to the major cities across the north of England. The borough of Scarborough has a population of 108,757 and is a popular seaside resort with over 10.2m trips taken every year, contributing £837.1m to the regional economy.

“As our name suggests, we have strong ties with the town and we see this project as an opportunity to really put Scarborough on the map. We are therefore keen to work closely with the council to explore ways in which we can deploy our expertise of creating vibrant, mixed-use communities to help breathe new life into the shopping centre in order to attract more people to the town.”

Councillor Steve Siddons, leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said: “This is brilliant news for Scarborough.

"Having an organisation of the calibre of SGI with their knowledge, drive, success, and track record, investing in our town centre is game changing and a real endorsement of the exciting vision outlined in the Scarborough Blueprint.

"We are looking forward to working in partnership with Scarborough Partnerships Ltd to drive forward the Brunswick which is at the heart of our town centre, including exploring leisure uses with perhaps a cinema operator in the Brunswick.”