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Anchor tenant Marks & Spencer pulls out of £60m regeneration scheme

Oldham’s £60m Prince’s Gate development could be at risk after its anchor tenant Marks & Spencer dropped out of the project.

The retailer committed in November 2014 to opening a clothing, home and food store at the development, which was slated to open in 2018.

However, M&S said it would no longer be taking the space, after reporting falling sales and profits in its latest half-year results.

The retailer will also close 30 clothing and homeware stores across the UK and convert a number of shops into food stores as part of a restructuring programme.

Oldham Council leader Jean Stretton said the council was disappointed by the decision.

“It’s well known that Marks & Spencer has been experiencing difficulties in a very competitive market and they recently announced store closures as part of a business restructuring,” she said.

“When they first informed us of this decision, Marks & Spencer were clear that although this means they will not be taking retail space at the Prince’s Gate site, this does not mean that they’re necessarily closing the door on coming to Oldham.

“I want to reassure people that we are continuing to have discussions with them about this and we are hopeful of a positive future outcome.”

Prince’s Gate is part of a masterplan for the area, which includes 800 new homes alongside 150,000 sq ft of retail space.

It will also comprise improved public realm and the refurbishment and extension of the Grade II-listed Old Bank building, which will feature apartments, retail and leisure units.

Construction News understands that Vinci and McLaughlin & Harvey were both bidding for the £60m project.

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