Trafford Council is aiming to “kick-start the next phase” of Altrincham’s regeneration with the purchase of the Graftons shopping centre.
The once-bustling shopping hub has been closed for two years and is seen as a barrier to the regeneration of the southern end of George Street.
Once home to the likes of Music Zone Direct, Greggs and Rhode Island Coffee – the latter is now located on George Street itself – the 1970s building has space for a number of retail outlets on the ground floor with a seven-storey hotel leased to Travelodge above.
Two years ago there had been plans to reconfigure the space into a 5,000 sq ft unit to attract one or possibly two retailers.
It seems those plans did not get off the ground and previous owners Grafton Centre Holdings Ltd have sold it to the council for an undisclosed sum.
Trafford described Altrincham’s recent turnaround as “incredible” and claimed that shop vacancies have fallen by almost 75%, footfall is up 5% year-on-year since 2016 and more than 25 new bars and restaurants have opened, with £140 million of private and public sector funding being invested.
It said it will be unveiling its proposals for the Graftons “in the near future”, but will focus on “further enhancing the retail and leisure offer in Altrincham”.
Alex Williams, deputy leader of the Council and Executive Member for Investment, said: “We are delighted to have been able to secure this opportunity, which is a mark of our determination to continue to restore Altrincham’s fortunes, putting the heart back into the centre and bringing vitality to our town.
“By working with landlords, businesses and residents we are transforming Altrincham as a modern, vibrant market town. This investment will be central to further improvements and regeneration in line with our vision.”