Castle Quay and the approved development of Castle Quay 2 could be in the hands of Cherwell District Council if an announced purchase of the shopping centre is approved next month.
At a press conference today, Thursday, November 2, Cllr Tony Ilott, lead member for finance, Cllr Lynn Pratt, lead member for estates and the economy and Cherwell District Council leader Barry Wood, outlined the proposed purchase as part of their wider vision for Banbury town centre’s regeneration.
The announcement follows the decision by Aberdeen Standard Investments, the current owners of Castle Quay, to back out of the CQ2 development that includes a Nandos, a seven screen cinema and a Lidls supermarket.
Aberdeen Standard Investments will release an official statement in the near future.
Cllr Ilott said: “As a council and as community leaders we are committed to investing in the town centre and doing everything we can to create a thriving economy.
“The new development at Castle Quay has been highly anticipated and if not delivered would be a massive blow to residents and businesses.
He added: “We have therefore taken the decision to pro actively explore all the possible options to secure the future of this development.”
CDC currently has a 15 per cent stake in Castle Quay and would become sole owners if the sale goes ahead.
Committee meetings and a detailed outline of the sale are yet to be produced but at this early stage the purchase has bipartisan support and a final vote on the issue will be held on December 18.
The CQ2 development has been delayed during the summer due to slight alterations to the planning of the access points but CDC are hoping the development would break ground next summer with a completion date of winter 2019.
Cllr Ilott added: “If we were to purchase CQ we would be able to provide much needed investment which can’t be guaranteed by the existing or third party owner.
“We would also be in a position to take control of negotiations with potential new businesses and work with existing retailers to ensure the old town and precinct work together to inject new life into the centre and increase footfall.”
For more about CQ2 click here.