Sutton Council has bought the long leasehold on the St Nicholas Centre in Sutton High Street.
The Council, which already owns the freehold, said it hopes this will help to ensure the town centre’s future by giving the Council greater control over a key landmark on the High Street, which covers 4.7 acres of land in the heart of Sutton, and includes the recently refurbished Empire Cinema and 740-space car park.
The £26m purchase has been made under the Council’s plans to regenerate the town centre and ensure that the future high street offers the local community an attractive destination.
Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said the purchase of the St Nicholas Centre offers the Council an opportunity to ensure the future vitality of our High Street.
She said: “As the long leaseholder, we will have much greater control and influence over a key asset in our borough and can ensure that any future development is in keeping with our vision for the town centre.
“The way people are interacting with their local areas has changed as a result of the pandemic and we will ensure that we respond to the needs of local people and businesses in a post-pandemic world, as we deliver our town centre regeneration plans.
“Delivering a vibrant high street that responds to today’s leisure, consumer and employment demands is more important than ever as we seek to rebuild Sutton’s communities and economy after the impact of the pandemic.
“We will work with our local residents, businesses and voluntary and public sector partners to fully understand their needs and to ensure that we are safeguarding the centre of Sutton for future generations.”