Meadowhall is Yorkshire's largest shopping centre. Credit: Google Earth

Meadowhall partners mull exit

The South Yorkshire shopping centre could be sold for £750m, with British Land and Norges reportedly instructing agents to find a buyer.

In what has been a torrid time in the regional shopping centre market, BL has long held on to its 50% stake in the Sheffield complex, originally developed in the late 1980s by local operators Eddie Healey and Paul Sykes on a former steelworks.

The developers sold out to British Land at the end of the 1990s, receiving around £1.2bn in a booming market for what remains Yorkshire’s largest shopping centre.

A 50% stake was released to London & Stamford Property in 2009, before L&S sold its interest to Norges Bank Investment Management in 2012 for a reported £1.5bn.

British Land has thus been the main player for close to a quarter-century, but according to the Sunday Times, the listed developer and landlord is now ready to call time on its investment, recycling the proceeds into retail park investment.

CBRE is understood to have been appointed to find a buyer.

Recent years have seen regional shopping centres suffer in line with the high street, as retail staples once thought impregnable foundered one by one.

The collapse into administration of Intu, owner of Greater Manchester’s Trafford Centre, highlighted the sector’s woes: the centre was bought by Canadian pension fund CPP in December 2020 for a reported £800m, some way below the £1.2bn it had been valued at just six months earlier.

CBRE and British Land declined to comment.

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