'We haven't heard anything': Shops in Northampton's Market Walk shocked to learn their home is up for sale again

Business owners in Northampton's Market Walk were shocked today to learn the shopping centre they make a living in had gone up for sale - because no one else had told them.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 5:22 pm
The troubled Market Walk Shopping Centre is up for sale at 2million on Rightmove.
The troubled Market Walk Shopping Centre is up for sale at 2million on Rightmove.

The troubled shopping arcade formerly known as Peacock Place was listed on Rightmove last week for £2million by estate agents Paul Simon Seaton CEA Ltd.

Currently, more than half of the available 66,000 sq ft on Market Square lie vacant, with only 10 shop units open for business.

But the shops who make their home in the Walk between Market Square and Abington Street were shocked to hear the news first through the Chronicle and Echo, and have had no notice about the sale from the centre's management.

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The troubled Market Walk Shopping Centre is up for sale at 2million on Rightmove.

Now, the businesses operating on Market Walk have shared their thoughts on the proposed sale.

"They'd be lucky," said one shop owner, who asked to remain anonymous. "If they wanted to sell it for that price they should have filled some shops first.

"I found out about the sale through the Chron. Surely I should find out through management? But I have heard nothing."

In fact, none of the six businesses approached by the Chron today knew their shopping centre was up for sale.

Business owners in Market Walk were shocked to hear the news about the sale - because management had not told them.

Additionally, all the shops the Chron spoke with asked to remain anonymous.

"We don't know what's happening," said another shop owner. "Are we coming? Are we going? Do they want us to stay here? Do they want us out? We've had no communication."

The centre's management has been approached for comment.

Meanwhile, the listing on Rightmove says the site has also had "planning submitted for rooftop development to provide hotel/student accommodation and other mixed uses".

The arcade has been rebranded numerous times in recent years.

In 2017, the then owners were given planning permission to let empty shopping centre units to food, drink and leisure operators in a bid to increase footfall.

The aim was to fill half-a-dozen units that had been empty for up to six years with cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as offices for professional and financial services.

Before then it had rebranded as a fashion destination but the loss of Next and Laura Ashley forced a rethink.

Dorothy Perkins also closed in March this year.