Belfast Telegraph

Sprucefield Retail Park put on the market by Intu for £46.5m


Sprucefield Park has a variety of tenants including Argos and Sainsbury's
Sprucefield Park has a variety of tenants including Argos and Sainsbury's
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Troubled shopping centre owner Intu has put Sprucefield Retail Park on the market for £46.5m, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The park outside Lisburn has a variety of tenants including grocery giant Sainsbury's, DIY chain B&Q and Next Home.

The relative affluence of the surrounding population is reflected in the marketing of the centre.

Sprucefield Retail Park is a separate development to Sprucefield Shopping Centre, which is home to retailers including Next, Marks and Spencer and Boots.

A spokesman for Intu, which also owns the Trafford Centre in Manchester, said: "We said at our interim results in July that part of our strategy is to fix the balance sheet.

"One way that we are doing this is through disposal and part-disposal of assets in the UK and Spain.

"In line with this, we are considering the sale of Sprucefield Park but all of those discussions are still at an early stage.

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"We have not agreed terms with anybody at this point."

Last year Intu told the Belfast Telegraph that a proposed £50m revamp of Sprucefield Centre would be going ahead despite the prospect of the firm being taken over by Hammerson.

However, takeover talks fell through and the revamp plans were abandoned.

A brochure previously prepared by the selling agents, Cushman Wakefield, describe Sprucefield Park as "one of the strongest out of centre retailing locations in Northern Ireland".

The majority of the income for the centre is generated from Sainsbury's and B&Q. There is one vacant unit.

It describes Sprucefield as serving a significant catchment area given its location off the motorway.

And its catchment of shoppers is described in the brochure as "affluent", and at 55.4%, an above-average proportion of employees in either full-time or part-time employment, compared to an average of 53.8%.

And 67.6% of those living within 10 minutes' drive away are homeowners, compared to a UK base of 63.3%.

Also 81.6% are described as car owners, compared to an average of 75.6%.

The brochure adds: "The 10-minute drive-time population spends an average of £161.28 per household per week on comparison goods, compared to the UK average of £150.78."

The site also includes around 18 acres of undeveloped land.

A planning application for more shops, a hotel and restaurants was submitted last autumn.

Belfast Telegraph