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A £13.1 million deal was today completed to purchase St George's Parade on the eastern side of the city centre.
It is a key strategic gateway that forms part of the City Centre Area Action Plan (AAP), occupying a highly prominent position next to the ring road, 250 metres from the city's main shopping centre and railway station.
The council is now considering the best way to maximise use of the land before marketing it to potential investors and developers. Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: "The acquisition of St George's Parade was an opportunity not to be missed in terms of our wider strategic regeneration plans for the city.
"It will put a vacant site back into use, helping to attract further investment and create jobs in the city centre.
"Our ambitious regeneration plans are already delivering developments at i10, the railway station and Westside, and St George's Parade complements this activity.
"The council has an important role to play in the city's regeneration and this opportunity to invest and make the city centre better for local people and businesses drove our thinking.
"Local residents tell us that the regeneration of the city centre is one of their top priorities and seeing the visible signs of change helps to boost their opportunities and pride in our city."
Sainsbury's are currently tied into a long-term lease of the site and will continue to pay a significant rent to the owner for the next nine years.
Councillor Bilson added: "It is important to point out that this is a capital investment, money we have borrowed at very preferential rates to do this. It does not affect the council's day-to-day operational budgets for things like education, road repairs and social care."
- released: Friday 13 May, 2016