Bootle Canalside 1
Sefton hopes to get £14m from the government to advance plans for a leisure scheme next to the Strand Credit: via Sefton Council

Bootle Strand more than halves in value since council acquisition 

Dan Whelan

Sefton Council leader Ian Maher defended the authority’s decision to buy the shopping centre for £32.5m in 2017 but revealed it is now worth only £14.24m. 

“The decision to acquire the Strand Shopping Centre in 2017 to act as the catalyst for regeneration has proven to be the correct one,” Cllr Maher said.

“As would be expected, there has been a reduction in the value of the Strand shopping centre complex, to the current figure of £14.24m.”  

The Strand anchors Sefton’s strategy to regenerate Bootle town centre but plans to redevelop it have stuttered. 

In February, the council blamed the “severe impacts” of the pandemic for the delays in developing a business case for the project. 

Sefton bought the 400,000 sq ft shopping complex from Ellandi in 2014 so that it could have more control over the future regeneration of Bootle. 

Cllr Maher said: “The valuation [of the Strand] does not impact on the council’s financial position, but the acquisition illustrates how Sefton Council is firmly committed to creating opportunities for local people to influence the future of the site and the town centre.” 

“Achieving this means having the vision, ambition and confidence to take the long-term view and being open and honest about how we intend to achieve it.” 

Sefton Council is hopeful the government will approve a Levelling Up Fund bid of £14.5m to redevelop an area next to the Strand into Canalside, an outdoor leisure and events space. 

The bid also features plans to create a flying theatre visitor attraction at the site. 

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No way that they could have foreseen the turmoil from the last 18 months. Markets move, and sometimes they move against you.

By The Old Faithful

Hard to excuse them really. The pandemic should have been an opportunity, what with people needing to shop locally.
As per the next borough down, though, they lacked the skills or guile to make that leap of imagination the asset could have benefited from.
And could they have foreseen a drop in value? Marks and Spencer moved out long before COVID.
I hope their plans eventually prove worth the outlay,

By Jeff

For once I agree with the council, The Strand is central to Bootle and the hub of all retail & leisure. The previous owners hadn’t invested properly, but Sefton can now move forward with the canal plans etc. Bootle needs to ride on Liverpool’s waves, simular to what other towns in Greater Manchester do.

By Bootle

I agree with the strategic rationale for the Strand’s acquisition but the council has moved far too slowly and covid is a convenient excuse. The plans for the canalside lack vision and imagination and, as currently designed, massively under-utilise its potential for real estate development, job creation, rateable income and more. They need a private sector partner on board who will move at pace and bring the necessary vision to bear.

By Sceptical

This is really disappointing to hear but not surprising. The retail market has seen considerable decline since 2017 and if it had been held by a different owner the centre might well have shut down which wouldn’t have been good for the town. As long as Sefton remain committed to keeping this for the long term I am sure it will end positively.

By Professional

Obviously the correct decision to waste £18m when most of the plebs don’t like shopping in Bootle. Can’t blame the Pandemic as retail was already declining.

By Jes James

The due diligence process exposed once again. We need to move away from the standardised model of check-and-tick that we’re all guilty of.

By neil williams

The property market can be so volatile it is always hard to predict, look at the recently refurbished India Building ,wasn`t that sold at a knockdown price a few years back and then sold again a few tears later at a massive profit( or was it the other way round?)
The Strand centre is important to Bootle but needs a drastic re-think in terms of what is it`s purpose and who is it trying to attract, there needs to be more leisure and destination facilities, as the shopping element was in long decline , so now is the ideal time to act.

By Anonymous