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British Land acquires over 400,000 sq ft of space with three new parks

Chloe Burney
21 March 2023

Commercial landlord British Land has acquired three retail parks for £94 million and sold its 50% stake in a retail park in Preston for £30 million.

The company has acquired the 300,000 sq ft Capitol Retail and Leisure Park, in Preston for £51.5 million. The park is home to a strong mix of retailers including NEXT, Home Bargains and Boots.

In addition, British Land now owns Solartron Retail Park, a 90,000 sq ft retail park in Farnborough for £35 million. The park is fully let to a strong mix of retailers including Lidl, Pets at Home and DFS, and benefits from a growing and affluent catchment area.

The third property added to its portfolio is a large DFS location at 442 Newmarket Road in Cambridge, acquired for £7.35 million. According to the business, the 20,000 sq ft retail warehouse offers a secure income stream for the company with the potential for a "longer-term life sciences redevelopment" in a strategic location.

British Land is also actively recycling capital and consolidating its position as the UK’s largest owner and operator of retail parks. Not only did the company purchase retail spaces, it also sold a 50% stake in Deepdale Retail Park to Melford Capital for £30.3 million.

Kelly Cleveland, Head of Strategy and Investment at British Land, commented: "With retailers increasingly focused on the role of their stores, retail parks have emerged as a preferred format, due to their compatibility with omni channel retail, their affordability and appeal to online resilient businesses.

"This is driving good occupational demand across the portfolio reflected in our 97% occupancy and growing ERVs."

This follows the news that British Land revealed a plunge in the valuation of its offices and shops as the FTSE 100 firm was weighed down by higher borrowing costs. Shares in the company, which owns 50% of Meadowhall shopping centre, dropped as a result.

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