Salford City Council has completed the purchase of Eccles Shopping Centre from current owners Columbia Threadneedle Properties for £4.15million.
The purchase highlights the council’s significant commitment to the future of the town. It is a vital acquisition and the first key component in plans to deliver a new, shared vision for redeveloping and revitalising Eccles. It means the town centre’s future is now in the hands of the council and the community and enables the implementation of the shared vision to begin.
Over 600 residents took part in the initial public consultation around the future vision for Eccles. It highlighted views from residents, stakeholders and community groups for the need for drastic change, a fundamental transformation and the redevelopment of the town centre.
The long-term plan, which will see the council working alongside the community, is to create a vibrant town centre where people can eat, meet, and play. There will be a focus on building a place that celebrates its heritage whilst forging a new future for itself. A place where residents can choose to live and work as well as taking advantage of the town’s connectivity.
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “It’s time to accept some hard truths, that the centre as it stands now isn’t working for the town or the community. So, it’s now time to show Eccles the love and support it badly needs.
We’ve listened to the needs of the community and by taking ownership of the shopping centre, we can work alongside the local community, stakeholders and a developer partner to bring this shared vision to life. A vision to re-purpose the area and create a modern mixed-use development with civic spaces that complement the historic parts of the town centre.”
In recent years Eccles has, like many other town centres up and down the country, faced decline and has failed to capitalise on the growth experienced in other parts of the city, including central Salford, Greengate and at Mediacity and the Quays. The transformation of these areas has changed the face of Salford and led to an influx of investment and people calling Salford their home.
Eccles now needs to be part of city’s regeneration story and benefit equally. This is all to ensure it doesn’t suffer further decline and enable it to play a vital role within a dynamic and diverse Salford.
Future consultation led by Salford City Council will begin in the coming months with a programme of engagement, consultation and local events. Once again residents will be encouraged to share their views and opinions to help shape a shared vision for the future of Eccles.