The George Shopping Centre in Grantham has been sold at auction for £2.79 million.
The centre was sold yesterday at the Acuitus commercial property auction in London with a guide price of £950,000. The identity of the buyers has not yet been released.
The centre was acquired by international property consultants King Sturge on behalf of a pension fund client for £5.4 million about 10 years ago.
A spokesman for the auctioneers said: “There was a lot of interest in the shopping centre. There is now a growing interest in property across the regions whereas in the past few years it has been confined to London and the South East. But the interest in the George Shopping Centre reflects a lot more confidence in the economy and in retail property.”
Occupiers in the centre include Pizza Express, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Grantham College but a number of units are empty. The investment produces a rental income of £381,016 per year at the moment.
The centre incorporates the former historic hotel of the same name which was named by Charles Dickens as ‘the very best inn on the Great North Road’. After staying in the hotel in 1838, the author included the tribute in Nicholas Nickleby. Other well-known visitors to The George included Margaret Thatcher.
The hotel closed in 1989 and the building was extended as a shopping centre with 23 shops on the ground floor together with shops and offices on the first and second floors.