NEWARK TOWN COUNCIL PURCHASES THE BUTTERMARKET

Submitted on 11 December 2018 by Town Council Administrator

Newark & Sherwood District Council and Newark Town Council have worked together in partnership to purchase the Buttermarket and former Royal Exchange, which have been largely empty for some months.  They are two key buildings in the town centre and connect the Market Place with Middlegate.

Since 2014 the property has been owned by an overseas company and managed by remote agents.  Whilst there has been significant recent investment in the fabric of the buildings, concerns have been raised by local businesses and the Councils at the lack of occupancy of existing units within the buildings which, in part, were due to decisions taken by the previous owners to end or not renew lease agreements.

The property was unexpectedly presented to the market via a London auction, due to take place on the 5th December 2018.  Both Councils saw an opportunity to secure these iconic buildings in the heart of the town and bring them back into local ownership.  The buildings were secured prior to auction.  Exchange took place on 4th December 2018 with completion expected by 21st January 2019.

Cllr Max Cope, Deputy Leader of Newark Town Council said:

"It has been so sad to see the gradual demise of these buildings as a retail offer in the heart of our town over the last few years.  To allow the buildings to become not much more than a 'ghost shopping centre' has been a disgrace and has had a detrimental impact on the wider retail economy of the town.  The Buttermarket in particular has huge civic and historic importance to the town; I am absolutely delighted that it has been secured back into the ownership and control of the Town Council, where it belongs.

I would like to thank all my fellow Town Councillors, who gave unanimous support to purchase the building and to our officers who have worked extremely hard over the last week to secure the purchase without the risk of it going to a public auction. 

I now look forward to working with the District Council to find an imaginative and useful purpose for these buildings.  There is an exciting opportunity for the Councils to work together to breathe new investment and life into the buildings.  I am convinced that they will have a major and strategic role in boosting the town's retail, cultural and leisure offer."