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Market Gates bosses assure shoppers it is business as usual

PUBLISHED: 13:52 15 March 2012 | UPDATED: 14:19 15 March 2012

General view of Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth.

Picture: James Bass

General view of Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

OWNERS of Market Gates shopping centre have reassured customers it is business as usual after entering administration this month.

Market Gates Shopping Centre GY Limited – which boasts more than 40 high street shops – has appointed administrators at Deloitte to seek a new buyer for the development. But shoppers have been promised they will not notice any difference while the search for new owners is under way.

A spokesman for Deloitte said: “The development has a high level of occupation and will continue to operate.”

Barry Stone, the borough’s cabinet member for transformation, said: “Hopefully there will be a rapid transfer of ownership and Deloitte will find a new buyer.

“It’s worrying news as we’re still in a recession as far as Yarmouth retail is concerned.

“But the man in the street shouldn’t notice any difference, and that’s positive in the meantime.”

Matt Cowlishaw, Neville Kahn and Rob Harding of Deloitte were appointed as joint administrators of Market Gates Shopping Centre GY Limited on March 2.

They say Edinburgh-based The Miller Group Limited - which used to preside over Market Gates Shopping Centre GY Limited - has undergone a recent restructure, but Market Gates was not included.

Administrators say Market Gates Shopping Centre GY Limited is a “property special purpose vehicle” - a measure typically taken to isolate firms from financial risk.

The company was called Miller (Great Yarmouth) Limited before changing its name to Market Gates Shopping Centre GY Limited on January 26 this year, according to records at Companies House.

Ownership was transferred from Miller to Bank of Scotland on February 29, as part of a deal to restructure Miller’s debts, with the bank calling in the administrators on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Miller, which is due to announce its results today, said: “The shopping centre was retained by Bank of Scotland as part of a much larger restructuring of Miller Group and as such the Bank as owners have appointed

Market Gates is one of the Eastern region’s oldest malls which ushered in a new era of retail opportunity when it was built in 1975.

Jonathan Newman, Yarmouth’s town centre manager, said: “My concern is if people get the wrong end of the stick and think it’s going to close down, which may make people reluctant to shop.

“This isn’t the case at all, and it’s just worrying for the people who run the shopping centre.”

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, said: “If they’ve got £1.1m in their revenue they will find it relatively easy to appoint a buyer and most people in the street won’t notice a difference.

“It shows as a going concern it’s a healthy business and what matters is if shops are available and open.

“It’s always a shame when you see a business struggling, and I hope the administrators get someone in to continue running it.”

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