West Oxfordshire District Council has purchased the buildings and assets of the shopping centre at Marriotts Walk in the middle of Witney as part of plans to help boost town centres across West Oxfordshire.
Councillor Duncan Enright, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said, “We are working hard across the district to support our town centres and help boost our local economy.
“In Witney, we already have a brilliant town centre offer, but by purchasing Marriotts Walk, we can do more to boost the area.
“It provides us with an amazing opportunity to help support Witney town centre during what continues to be a very challenging period for local businesses.
“This is an investment for the future of the district and will allow us to take forward what is already a successful site.
“We have ambition for the site, and we will be working hard to look at filling the empty units and also looking at how we can use the great outdoor space to do more to help encourage people to shop in Witney.
“Given we are not purely driven by rental income as many private owners would be, we can be more flexible and look at how the space can better benefit the community.
“This purchase forms part of our wider plans to support market towns across the district along with our long-term ambition for the new Salt Cross development to attract major new businesses to the area.
The 4.9 acres Marriotts Walk site sits in the centre of Witney after being built in 2007. It includes 21 lettable business units along with a 590 space car park.
The Council is the freehold owner of the site, which was let on a long lease, initially to Kandahar Real Estate and more recently to a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.
The Council completed the purchase of the site on Wednesday, 11 January 2023. It has already contacted tenants to welcome them to the new partnership with the Council.