THE new owners of Riverside Shopping Centre have pledged to halt its 'steady decline'.

Stratford-based Chase Commercial Ltd have bought the struggling centre which they describe as at a 'very low ebb.'

Julian Meredith, director at Chase Commercial Ltd, said: “I am pleased to confirm that we have exchanged contracts to purchase Riverside.

"The centre has been owned by a London based Pension Fund for a considerable time, who have managed the asset from afar.

"As a local company, we know Evesham and we are well aware the centre is presently at a very low ebb, having been in steady decline for a number of years.

"It is our aim to inject new life into the shopping centre and make it more attractive to both occupiers and visitors alike, which will in turn benefit both the high street and the town as a whole.

“The current construction of the new Waitrose supermarket shows the potential that Evesham town centre holds.

"We are very much looking forward to exploring what we can do to Riverside but we also recognise that this will not happen overnight and therefore no immediate changes will be seen.”

Cllr Richard Jones, mayor of Evesham said: "I am sure that for the town this is going to be very good news.

"The town centre has been on its last legs for a long time and any regeneration for the town is a good thing and is very much overdue."

Aviva Investors took over the running of the centre from previous owners Axa at the end of 2015, managing the business from London.

In recent years the Evesham Journal has reported on the centre's decline.

In March 2015, the Journal reported on the figures from data company PwC that showed 51.5 per cent of units were empty, helping to significantly lowering Evesham's overall vacancy rate to 16.2 per cent.