Share

Westfield in talks with charity to open megastore in South London

Whitgift Shopping Centre
News

Westfield in talks with charity to open megastore in South London

Finance | Niki May Young | 11 Nov 2011

Australian retail megalith the Westfield Group has entered into "exclusive arrangements" with the Whitgift Foundation to explore the redevelopment of the Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon, where the Foundation owns the freehold.

Whitgift had presented its plans to redevelop the shopping centre in its accounts ending 31 August 2010 and the new discussions with Westfield could lead to a significant financial boost for the Foundation, which saw its net income from investment properties drop by nearly £1.5m from the previous year to nearly £5.5m last year. 

The Foundation was established in 1596 with the aim of providing care for the elderly and education for the young and runs three independent schools and three care homes in the UK. It has a freehold property value of almost £66m and its assets "produce significant income to meet its commitments". 

Announcing the discussions with Westfield yesterday, Ian Harley, chairman of the court of governors at the Foundation, said: "The Whitfield Foundation, which owns the freehold of the Whitgift shopping centre and other town centre investment properties, has been working for many years to help bring about much-needed improvements to the town centre.

"The Foundation welcomes this agreement to work in partnership with Westfield and other key stakeholders to secure a major new investment in the retail centre of Croydon which is not only intended to achieve much-needed improvements to the Whitgift shopping centre but also help bring about the regeneration of the town centre generally."

Croydon saw several landmarks destroyed as part of the London riots, with the Whitgift shopping centre itself closed during the events. The location, however, is seen as "strategic" for Westfield, being close to Gatwick Airport and serving Surrey and Kent, as well as parts of Hampshire, East Sussex and West Sussex.

The redevelopment of the Whitgift Shopping Centre, which is already home to over 180 retailers, could potentially serve over three million customers, Westfield advised.

However, other stakeholders in the development present a potential stumbling block, advising of their discomfort with not having been consulted over the plans. The shopping centre's leasehold is owned by the Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC) and Royal London Asset Management. Royal London advised that it was "aware of several other major shopping centre developers similarly capable of delivering an excellent scheme in Croydon".

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Over £11m raised for MND Association and Macmillan from ice bucket challenge

19 Sep 2014

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has raised £6.8m from the viral fundraising craze the ice bucket...

DEC raises £102m in its 50th year

19 Sep 2014

The Disasters Emergency Committee and its member agencies raised £102m through two appeals in the last...

London Marathon runners raise £250m in past five years

19 Sep 2014

A quarter of a billion pounds has been raised by London Marathon runners in the past five years, according...

Lobbying Act comes into force today

19 Sep 2014

The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 comes into...

Devolution 'will affect how charities operate'

19 Sep 2014

The political landscape that charities operate in looks set to change following the Scottish decision...

Some charity leaders see themselves as ‘employees of government’

18 Sep 2014

Voluntary bodies and the state have become so intertwined that some charity leaders whose organisations...

JustGiving page for Manchester Dogs’ Home receives four donations a second

15 Sep 2014

JustGiving has said that donations going to an appeal for the Manchester Dogs’ Home following an arson...

Commission's new online charity search to launch soon after delay

15 Sep 2014

The Charity Commission’s searchable online register of charities is due to launch in beta this autumn,...

Charities warned that digital campaigns can be 'counterproductive'

9 Sep 2014

Charity digital campaigns can be counterproductive and will need to change to keep the attention of those...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance