Has the regeneration badge become a millstone for Surrey Heath Borough Council?
The rapidly reducing value of the The Mall (now called The Square) in Camberley in the sunny uplands of the county, makes its purchase look like a bad deal all round, especially when one adds in a pandemic and recession, which will hit residents hard.
However prosperous an area, when a town centre starts to vacate at an alarming rate and the retail sector continues to experience major structural shifts, it is not surprising that the local council views the future health of its town centre with some concern.
Using the public finances to invest in your town centre has a logic. It enables the local authority to have a stake in its future and enable it to determine its future direction, ensuring it does not ‘hollow out’ as so many towns across the UK have already done.
Discussions about the future of high street are now at an advanced stage and, across the Thames Valley, towns such as Newbury, Maidenhead and Slough are all exploring the future of their respective centres.
We hope that Surrey Heath does not lose sight of the original reasons why it purchased The Square and begins to use it as a catalyst for the regeneration of Camberley and bring future value for its residents.
© Thames Tap No 220 (powered by ukpropertyforums.com).
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