'Business as usual' as shopping mall enters administration

The Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth after being evacuated on Thursday (February 21).

Reassurances have been made after it emerged Market Gates has fallen into administration. - Credit: Archant

The trio of companies behind a town centre shopping mall has collapsed into administration, it has emerged.

Tenants in Market Gates, Great Yarmouth, received letters on Tuesday (January 19) advising them that joint administrators from Deloitte had been appointed on December 2 - the day the second lockdown ended and shops were allowed to reopen.

A spokesman for Deloitte said: "David Soden and Matt Smith were appointed as administrators over three shopping centres on December 2.

"These centres are based in Great Yarmouth, Sutton in Ashfield, and Ashton Under Lyne.

"Each centre is run by Ellandi, who will continue to operate them."

The letter, seen by this newspaper,  said the administrators were seeking to "stabilise the business, maximise the potential of the locations by way of both retail and non-retail uses, and consider an exit strategy to the administrations in due course."

It added that the effect of going into administration was to offer protection to the limited companies named as Redleaf VI (Ashton), Baymount Overseas, and Eisinger.

Market Gates manager Nick Spencer was heartened to see a good number of shoppers in the mall on the

Market Gates manager Nick Spencer has offered reassurances to shoppers that the centre will continue to operate as normal. - Credit: Archant

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Centre manager Nick Spencer said it was "business as usual" and that day-to-day trading at the centre would not be affected.

The centre previously went into administration in 2012 when it was retained by the Bank of Scotland as part of a much larger restructuring of its then owners Miller Group.

It was subsequently taken on by Ellandi, which claims to have the largest and most geographically diverse shopping centre portfolio in the UK.

Market Gates was built in the 1970s and is home to a number of high street brands including Pandora, Wilkinsons, Boots, Iceland, and New Look as well as a number of independent and charity shops.

Because of the number of "essential" retailers the centre has remained open during the lockdown.

However, Starbucks has announced its intention to close on Thursday (January 21) and reopen "sometime in February."

The retail sector was struggling even before the coronavirus pandemic and national restrictions forcing shops to close, and reducing demand for items like clothing.

Bricks and mortar stores have been among the worst affected with big names like Cath Kidston, Debenhams, Laura Ashley and Oasis entering administration last year alongside shopping centre owner Intu.