Poor response puts Worcester shopping and leisure revamp at risk

Worcester News: LITTLE INTEREST: Trinity House in Worcester LITTLE INTEREST: Trinity House in Worcester

AMBITIOUS proposals for a new shopping and leisure complex in Worcester are being scaled down - after a lack of interest from investors.

Your Worcester News can exclusively reveal how just one offer has been made to buy the city's mothballed Trinity House building and Cornmarket car park since it was placed for sale last August.

The mystery buyer's bid was rejected out of hand for being too low - with Worcestershire County Council calling the lack of progress "disappointing".

Your Worcester News can now reveal how plans to sell both Trinity House and the car park in a joint deal have been shelved - with the Cornmarket taken off the market.

The county council, which was working with Worcester City Council on the project, has now decided to go it alone and try to push through a sale for Trinity House as a standalone asset.

Bosses at County Hall say they hope it will make a deal more straightforward for investors.

The car park, which has 85 spaces, is owned by the city council while Trinity House, the former city Co-op and one of Worcester's most derided buildings, is owned by the county.

Last year there was talk about the likes of John Lewis potentially eyeing it up, but the retailer is now concentrating on the potential new out-of-town shopping mall off Newtown Road in a proposed deal with developer Land Securities.

The county council says it is now selling Trinity House "independently", adding that it is "following a disappointing response" to the joint marketing of both sites.

It says it had one firm offer, and one proposal, "neither of which were acceptable" for the site, off Trinity Street.

The city council remains bullish about the situation and says a parting of ways was a natural response given the lack of response.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader, said: "At some point it was always going to be entirely logical and rational for that to have happened given just the one offer."

Adrian Field, from Worcester's Business Improvement District (BID), which represents city traders, said: "Shops are still finding it tough in terms of trade and while it is disappointing, it's not wholly surprising.

"With a bigger plot of land you get more potential issues like the highways access - whether including that car park put developers off I don't know.

"We know of the interest in revamping Cathedral Plaza, so investors are out there.

"Hopefully the county council going it alone might spark some new interest."

Councillor John Campion, the county council's cabinet member for transformation said: "The council will continue to manage its assets to maximise the financial and economic regeneration benefits for the taxpayer including Trinity House."

Comments (7)

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2:41pm Mon 30 Jun 14

CJH says...

Well who would have guessed at that happening? Another 'artists impression' bites the dust...
Well who would have guessed at that happening? Another 'artists impression' bites the dust... CJH
  • Score: 8

3:08pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Samboy says...

Perhaps it would be advisable to make Worcester a more attractive town to visit and then the retail outlets would be glad to come here. You cannot expect them to arrive with a reducing footfall.
Perhaps it would be advisable to make Worcester a more attractive town to visit and then the retail outlets would be glad to come here. You cannot expect them to arrive with a reducing footfall. Samboy
  • Score: 10

11:19am Tue 1 Jul 14

liketoknow says...

football stadium?
football stadium? liketoknow
  • Score: -3

11:45am Tue 1 Jul 14

Roger5 says...

Worcester could do with a covered market on that site, which would enable startup retailers to get going, and not more of the usual high street chains. It is ideally located next to the short-stay car-park, and would create a more individual shopping experience for Worcester compared to other towns, with small outlets selling more unusual things. Not surprised there were no takers for more conventional uses, when there are many vacant retail units in the town already
Worcester could do with a covered market on that site, which would enable startup retailers to get going, and not more of the usual high street chains. It is ideally located next to the short-stay car-park, and would create a more individual shopping experience for Worcester compared to other towns, with small outlets selling more unusual things. Not surprised there were no takers for more conventional uses, when there are many vacant retail units in the town already Roger5
  • Score: 3

1:22pm Tue 1 Jul 14

HughPK says...

Councils looking for too much? They should nearly give these away free in order to attract investment/ jobs and also get paid rates, rather than leave such eyesores for longer in the city centre
Councils looking for too much? They should nearly give these away free in order to attract investment/ jobs and also get paid rates, rather than leave such eyesores for longer in the city centre HughPK
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Gorecki says...

I think more council focus needs to go on improving the city and residents quality of life. Shops and investors will follow and should not be the focus, especially for transferring council assets to.

I'd leave Trinity house alone for the moment and turn the carpark into a green space/park. Provide a relaxing green centre in that liminal area of traffic and the rest will follow.
I think more council focus needs to go on improving the city and residents quality of life. Shops and investors will follow and should not be the focus, especially for transferring council assets to. I'd leave Trinity house alone for the moment and turn the carpark into a green space/park. Provide a relaxing green centre in that liminal area of traffic and the rest will follow. Gorecki
  • Score: 4

5:49pm Wed 2 Jul 14

worcestersfinest says...

John Lewis would be great there but unfortunately there is not a great deal of money in Worcester so not a great demand for luxury shopping, improve the general quality and the rest will follow, and don't expand the uni any more! Increasing the student population will not help the city grow!!!
John Lewis would be great there but unfortunately there is not a great deal of money in Worcester so not a great demand for luxury shopping, improve the general quality and the rest will follow, and don't expand the uni any more! Increasing the student population will not help the city grow!!! worcestersfinest
  • Score: 0

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