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Council acquires the Churchgate Shopping centre to secure its future use

01 August 2022
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Cllr Ian Albert, Cllr Judi Billing, Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Steve Crowley, North Herts Council Service Director, Cllr Keith Hoskins
Cllr Ian Albert, Cllr Judi Billing, Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Steve Crowley, North Herts Council Service Director, Cllr Keith Hoskins

North Herts Council is delighted to announce that it has completed a deal to acquire the Churchgate Shopping Centre in Hitchin.

The council believes it can best control the future use of the site by taking ownership of the Centre and will launch a consultation to engage with residents and businesses to listen to their views on how to improve the area.

The decision to acquire ownership of the centre was approved at Full Council on 23 March. Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Leader at North Herts Council said: “We’re delighted that North Herts Council now owns the leasehold of the Churchgate Shopping Centre. Combined with our existing freehold ownership of the centre and adjacent sites including Hitchin Market and the car parks we now have the best opportunity we’ve ever had to make improvements to this part of Hitchin.

“We are now in a position to bring forward deliverable regeneration proposals in consultation with local people. I look forward to working with our community to determine what a suitable proposal for Churchgate will look like, and getting it delivered.”

Cllr Keith Hoskins, Executive Member for Enterprise and Arts said: “I have been involved in the Churchgate project since its infancy and am thrilled we now have a new opportunity to move it forward. The project fits into the council’s plan to boost the local economy in our town centres and support the vibrancy and sustainability of our fantastic town. An improved Churchgate centre will be a big benefit to the community of Hitchin.”

The council will carry out early and ongoing engagement with the public and other stakeholders to ensure all opinions are fully considered and inform any regeneration proposals for the future of the area. However, the immediate priority will be to work with existing tenants and proactively fill any empty units to drive customers into the centre.


Update: 11 Aug 2022

We can confirm that North Herts Council purchased the Churchgate Shopping Centre for £3.75 million.

We know spending money when times are so tight raises some eyebrows, but this is an investment that will give us the best opportunity we’ve ever had to make improvements to this part of Hitchin Town Centre whilst generating a financial return to the Council. The purchase also means that residents and businesses will have a direct say in the future of Churchgate through a series of public consultation and engagements.