Future looks rosy for Cumbernauld Town Centre

Written by Scott Campbell. Scott Campbell
Published at 20:15 on 18 December 2013.
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26-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Cumbernauld Town Centre; Picture shows Cumbernauld Town Centre, from outside North Bus Stop.
Cumbernauld Town Centre has been widely criticised. Picture: Cumbernauld Media.
 




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IT SEEMS as if the future of Cumbernauld Town Centre is in good hands under its new owners, as sources outline the development strategy for the centre, to Cumbernauld Media.

Well-placed sources have told Cumbernauld Media that the town centre’s new owners have agreed upon their plans for the refurbishment of Cumbernauld’s ageing ‘concrete monster on stilts’. 

Hamilton Portfolio Ltd bought the UK’s first indoor shopping centre back in June after the centre’s previous owners, CNC Investments Ltd, entered administration.

26-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - Cumbernauld Town Centre; Picture shows 'All Enquiries' sign on Cumbernauld Town Centre, close-up, from Central Way.
Cumbernauld Town Centre went on sale last year, for £1.2m. Picture: Cumbernauld Media.

In June, we reported that the Glasgow-based private investment company bought out the shopping centre, and CNC Investment’s interests in the building, for an undisclosed amount.

Talking to Cumbernauld Media, after the buy-out, a spokeswoman for The Hamilton Portfolio said that a new company was created in order to purchase Cumbernauld Town Centre.

Hamilton Portfolio Ltd are part owners. Logo: Hamilton Portfolio Ltd.

The spokeswoman said: “Hamcap (Cumbernauld) LLP has concluded the purchase of Cumbernauld Town Centre from CNC Investments Ltd (In Administration).  

“Hamcap is the first joint venture vehicle between Hamilton Capital Partners and Belgate Estates.”

The spokeswoman added that Hamcap had a management strategy for the centre, which would be laid out in detail within due course.

The spokeswoman added: “Hamcap have an asset management strategy for the centre which will address the current vacancies within the centre and greatly improve the offer within the town and more details on this will be announced in due course.”

The purchase of the 58 year old building by the ‘Hamilton Group’ raised hopes with many local organisations and residents that the complex would soon see major improvements, after the centre won the town the ‘carbuncle’ award twice, the first in 2001 and then again in 2005.

Centre has won Cumbernauld the 'carbuncle' prize twice. Picture: Urban Realm.

The centre’s sale fell in a period when the Cumbernauld Environmental Society were pulling key stakeholders around the table to discuss the best possible future for Cumbernauld town centre, and author a blueprint for change – the first meeting being held back in January 2013, the second being held in June. 

Although the Society is yet to host another ‘Cumbernauld Town Centre Regeneration Conference’, the change in ownership raised doubts amongst local organisations and residents that development or renovation may be just around the corner, with Hamcap (Cumbernauld) LLP yet to make their ‘Cumbernauld town centre management strategy’ publicly available.

Despite the lack of publicly available information from the Hamilton Portfolio and Belgate Estates partnership, about their vision for Cumbernauld Town Centre, sources have told Cumbernauld Media that a plan has already been penned and agreed to.

According to our sources, Hamilton Portfolio Ltd and Belgate Estates, under Hamcap (Cumbernauld) LLP are planning a major overhaul of the centre’s interior, with large aesthetic  improvements on the cards, alongside an appeal to bring bigger and better shops to the centre, as well as amusement and entertainment facilities, including a brand new cinema. Plans seemingly also include the part demolition and renovation of numerous units in the centre’s Forth Walk; plans which would see the complex’s former ‘Curves’ and ‘MacKays’ units become a brand new town centre food court.

Hamilton Portfolio Ltd have persistently declined to comment on their plans for the town centre, with our request for both an interview and statement either politely rejected or unanswered.

Nevertheless, sources say that the company’s plans for the town centre were approved and signed off at a recent board meeting, held in Glasgow, in the last few weeks.

In another definition of the plans for the development of Cumbernauld town centre, a manager from the town centre addressed a recent meeting of the Seafar and Ravenswood Community Council, during which the manager confirmed that although there was “no quick fix” to the centre’s problems, the future was looking “hopeful”, adding however that work was very unlikely to even hit the council’s desk before autumn 2014.

Nobody at The Hamilton Portfolio Ltd was available for comment on the company’s plans for the future development of Cumbernauld Town Centre. 

A spokesperson for Belgate Estates, however, said: “This [Cumbernauld] Shopping Centre was purchased in June 2013 in a joint venture with Hamilton Capital Partners."

Belgate Estates bought the centre in partnership with Hamilton Group. Logo: Belgate Estates.

The spokesperson added: “The Centre comprises 270,000 sq ft of retail, office and leisure space with around 75 tenancies. 

“We are currently exploring a number of asset management initiatives.”

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