Cheshire West and Chester Council said yesterday that it “continues to demonstrate its commitment to the regeneration of Winsford” with the announcement that it has acquired Winsford Cross shopping centre from Winsford Cross Developments Ltd.
A spokesperson said that this is a key step in the council’s aspirational plans to develop a vibrant and prosperous Winsford that residents and businesses can be proud of.
Cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, Cllr Brian Clarke said: “This is fantastic news for Winsford.
The council owns several sites within the town centre however the one missing piece of the jigsaw was the shopping centre.
“Winsford is a town on the up and by purchasing the shopping centre and the land around it we are unlocking the opportunity for a more comprehensive development of the town centre – one that matches our aspirations for the whole of Winsford.”
Cllr David Armstrong, cabinet member for legal and finance at CWAC added: “We know it’s a challenging retail climate at the moment so we want to sustain and build on the quality of tenants that already exist in the town centre.
“By taking over control of Winsford Cross we’re in a better place to do this.”
In 2016, the council announced a programme that builds upon the aims of the Winsford Neighbourhood Plan – set to create new jobs, improve leisure facilities and build new homes, whilst also helping to tackle inequality.
The council says it will immediately set to work, carrying out much-needed maintenance and repair and make some minor alterations that will improve the overall look and feel of the centre.
Michael Brown, company director of Winsford Cross Developments, said: “We are pleased that after a challenging negotiation we have been able to agree the sale of the asset to the Council.
“We believe that the Council is now well placed to take forward a more comprehensive redevelopment of the town centre and unlock the undoubted potential that exists within the town.”
He added: “On behalf of Winsford Cross Developments I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Winsford as well as the staff and tenants of Winsford Cross shopping centre for their support over the past 12 years.”
Over the coming months, the views of local residents as well as businesses and the wider community will be sought to help shape a master plan for Winsford town centre in order to deliver a comprehensive transformation of the area.
Cllr Michael Baynham for Winsford Over and Verdin Ward said: “We are delighted that with the conclusion of the negotiations we now have a long awaited opportunity to move the town to the next stage, through regeneration.”
A working group made up of councillors from both political parties (Labour and Conservative) will help to steer plans for the regeneration of Winsford, shaping the town of the future.