AN ENTREPRENEUR and former Channel 4 Secret Millionaire from North Wales has snapped up a struggling shopping centre in Bangor.

Bearmont Capital has completed the purchase of The Menai Centre in Bangor, and CEO Rob Lloyd plans to focus on rejuvenating the shopping centre and revive the adjacent High Street. 

The 130,000 sq ft building is currently 80 per cent vacant, and Mr Lloyd said that the centre's main challenge is the departure of the Debenhams department store, the original anchor tenant for the centre.

Footfall has dropped significantly, which has had a major impact on the centre and the city in general, coinciding with the rise of online shopping and the effects of the pandemic.


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Mr Lloyd, who is originally from Rhos-on-Sea, said: “It’s all about trying to find a balance that works for the local community and also to attract others to the town so it has to be appealing.

“I like the idea of a diverse offering that not only includes national and regional operators but also going back to artisan-style businesses like the old days might not be a bad idea as other towns have done it successfully –it's all about being creative and exploring new ideas.”

Rob sees the future of shopping centres as needing to reduce the number of shops in the main high street and adapt to the changing retail landscape. 

With Bangor having the longest high street in Wales, Rob believes this should be reduced, with too much retail in the city centre despite a of derelict property.

Coupled with out-of-town retail units, he feels this is not sustainable, and that other uses such as assisted living and artisan-style businesses need to be assessed.

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He added: “We have to roll our sleeves up to make things happen the good news we already have a number of units under offer and in legals and it’s important to get some good news out as soon as possible.

“We maintain close relationships with numerous retailers, which provides us with insights into their expansion plans.

“A critical aspect of purchasing a shopping centre is ensuring that the initial price is appropriate to accommodate potential shortfalls, particularly as rents decrease.

“In some instances, rents are decreasing by half due to economic conditions, particularly for historic units where rental rates have been high and are no longer sustainable.”

Bearmont Capital's immediate focus for The Menai Centre is to attract new tenants and offer competitive deals, and explore new ideas to make the shopping experience more appealing for the community and visitors. 

"The local authority and our development team share a common vision for revitalising the city,” said Rob.

“We aim to provide them with the necessary assurances that we are committed to effecting positive changes, and as always, we will take an active role in enhancing the commercial hub by attracting viable tenants, ensuring reasonable rental rates, and offering more flexible lease agreements."