Teesside TV

Sunrise Sunset
°C
Today
30/11/2021
°C
Tonight
30/11/2021
°C
Tomorrow
01/12/2021
°C
Saturday
02/12/2021
°C
Sunday
03/12/2021
°C
Monday
04/12/2021
°C

REFUSED TO REVEAL: Has Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser paid rent in Middlesbrough

REFUSED TO REVEAL: Has Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser paid rent in Middlesbrough

The council bought Middlesbrough’s House of Fraser building, on Linthorpe Road, in July 2020, Image: Google Maps

Middlesbrough Council has refused to reveal whether Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser has paid rent since the local authority bought the building last year.

The council bought Middlesbrough’s House of Fraser building, on Linthorpe Road, in July 2020 for £1m when it also acquired Captain Cook Square.

According to ITV News in April 2021, the department store had not been paying rent since the council took over the building the previous year.

Mayor Andy Preston told the outlet that the store would need to start paying rent ‘soon’ if it wished to remain trading from the shop.

A Middlesbrough Council spokesperson said: “The council acquired the House of Fraser building with a sitting tenant. It would not be appropriate to disclose commercial or contractual information regarding the lease particulars for this or any other council tenant.”

Billionaire Mike Ashley took ownership of the department store after Sports Direct acquired the chain.

Before it went into administration in 2018, House of Fraser had announced that it planned to close the Middlesbrough store but that was halted following the takeover.

If the store was to vacate the premises it would leave two large department stores opposite each other empty after Debenhams closed in May this year.

The mayor and councillors have spoken about their concern over the fate of the Debenhams building.

Speaking at a full council meeting on Wednesday, September 22, Mr Preston said: “There is a real risk that heritage buildings like Debenhams could go the same way.

“My understanding is, I have had meetings with the people that control the building, there is nothing coming back from them that tells me any plan for it, so I don’t know about Debenhams, but I am worried for it.

“We should all be worried and, if necessary, if the free market, if capitalism won’t solve the problem and we end up with a rotting building then the public sector in some way have got to get involved because we cannot let a landmark site bring the town down.”

Fraser Group has been contacted for comment.

 

Words: Emily Craigie, Local Democracy Reporter


Watch Live


Watch the channel on TV

7

Freeview

195

Sky

159

Virgin Media