Hopes to fill vacant shops as Swan Centre sold for more than £3m

An artist's impression of how the Swan Centre will look.
An artist's impression of how the Swan Centre will look.

The new shopping and dining complex in Rugby has been sold in a deal worth more than £3m with hopes the vacant units will be filled soon.

Caracal Properties' purchase of The Swan Centre was welcomed by Rugby First as providing a 'significant boost to the local economy.

Property consultancy Harris Lamb was instructed by the former owners to sell the centre, and head of retail David Walton said there was competitive bidding from potential buyers keen to take on the site.

Harris Lamb has been retained by Caracal to let the vacant units at the Chapel Street shopping centre and the vacant Co-op, which will become restaurant quarter Chapel Street Dining.

“We're delighted to have completed this sale, and to have been retained by Caracal to let the vacant units at the centre," Mr Walton said.

"This is a really exciting opportunity to be a part of Rugby’s renaissance.

"The town has undergone a new lease of life in recent months with significant investment being ploughed into its improvement.

"Caracal Properties has recognised that potential and we’ll be working closely with them to identify suitable new occupiers in-keeping with the surrounding retailers.”

The Swan Centre was completed in spring 2009, but many units still remain vacant despite Costa Coffee, Betfred and The Entertainer opening stores.

Rugby First managing director Aftab Gaffar said: “It’s great to hear that the sale has now been completed and Caracal Properties investment in the town centre will provide a significant boost to the local economy.

"They have some exciting plans for the Swan Centre and I hope to see these progress quickly now the sale has gone through, further enhancing the town centre offer and creating more jobs.

"Rugby First, along with the council, will work with the new landlords to bring this area back into use and help attract more visitors to the town centre.

"We have already started to see new investment in the surrounding area with the refurbishment of the Clock Towers Shopping Centre, the opening of the World Rugby Hall of Fame and the recent announcement to turn the old Marks & Spencer unit into an exciting chocolate factory and museum visitor attraction.

“Our town centre is changing and faces a number of challenges like many others across the country but it continues to attract investment.

"Rugby is an established market town and one of the fastest growing boroughs in the country, with major housing, retail and employment developments.

"Rugby First with its stakeholders is committed to support the creation of a town centre fit for the future and this development will undoubtedly help realise this vision.”

Email Mr Walton at david.walton@harrislamb.com for more details.