Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Bank puts £20m towards £34m Erneside buyout deal

By Margaret canning

Ulster Bank has revealed that it is funding a £34m retail investment in Co Fermanagh's main shopping centre.

The bank has put up £20m towards the £34.25m purchase of Erneside Shopping Centre by Tristan Capital Partners.

It is the first major retail scheme backed by the bank since the downturn, and came about after a competitive tendering process involving lenders across the UK.

Marks & Spencer, Next and New Look are the three main anchor tenants at Erneside in Enniskillen, but Vodafone, Clarks and Costa Coffee also occupy units.

Tristan Capital Partners joined with shopping centre specialist Ellandi to make the purchase from long-term owner Diageo Pension Trust in May.

The pension fund had owned the shopping centre since 1998, and carried out major extensions from 1998-2000 and 2006-8.

Gary Barr, relationship director of commercial real estate at Ulster Bank, praised the deal.

He said: "It is a positive sign that investors of this nature are interested in the Northern Ireland property market and are willing to invest here. Erneside Shopping Centre is a strong asset that has the potential to deliver a good return for the new owners."

Meanwhile, investment company British Land has also put three major assets in Northern Ireland on the market - phase one of Riverside in Coleraine, as well as Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre and a Tesco in Craigavon.

Belfast Telegraph