The retailer is rationalising its estate, but is signed up in Blackpool for four more years. Credit: archive

Blackpool pays £4.8m for town’s M&S

The council said the deal would enable it to secure the best possible future for the Church Street property, where the retailer is committed until 2027.

Blackpool Council has confirmed that it had taken control of the M&S unit, news that follows Frasers becoming the anchor tenant of the Houndshill shopping centre by taking over the 100,000 sq ft former Debenhams store.

In a report to the council executive, growth and prosperity programme director Nick Gerrard recommended the M&S acquisition as the location is a “strategic regeneration asset in the heart of the town centre,” located close to other council holdings and thus increasing its ability to steer development in the future.

M&S, which last month announced a further round of full-line store closures likely to top 60 over five years, has an unexpired lease term of four years plus, running up to March 2027, in Blackpool.

The vendor for the site was CF Sparks, which had previously tried to offload the store as part of a portfolio sale of 17 M&S locations. CBRE worked for Blackpool and HP Four for the vendor.

As outlined in Gerrard’s report, there are several priority projects in the vicinity, including the Abingdon Street market and Houndshill phase two.

Ellandi, which manages Houndshill for the council, will also now advise on this addition to its portfolio. Workman will manage the property.

The sale was priced at £4.4m, with stamp duty and other costs taking the total to £4.8m. Securing the full rent for the unexpired period would see £3m returned to the council coffers.

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