Last minute lifeline saves Agora Centre

Agora Centre Wolverton staff unhappy about closure given 2 weeks notice''Wk23 MPMC
Agora Centre Wolverton staff unhappy about closure given 2 weeks notice''Wk23 MPMC
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THE Agora Centre in Wolverton has been saved from closure after a deal was announced on Friday confirming it has been sold.

Earlier this month, The Citizen exclusively revealed that the popular shopping centre was due to be closed yesterday by liquidators Baker Tilly.Traders were told they had to be out of the building by 5.30pm for the final time.

However, the announcement came on Friday that saw a positive turn on the centre’s future when Graham Bushby and David Hudson, partners at Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery LLP agreed a sale of the centre.

The new owners, who are yet to be named, have agreed to keep the centre open for the forseeable future.

Graham Bushby, LPA Receiver and partner at Baker Tilly, said: “This has been a fantastic outcome for the centre and the traders alike.

“We know that the Agora Centre is a well known and important local amenity so it is a great result to secure this sale so quickly and ensure continuity of the business and the businesses therein.”

The Agora Centre was built in 1979 and provides space for around 60 units being a mix of retail and office accommodation and an outdoor market.

At present, 30 units are currently occupied and trading in the centre, some of which have been occupied up to 27 years.

Counillor Mike Galloway, for the Wolverton ward, said a lot of money will have to be spent to bring the building up to code.

He said: “It is good news for the traders that the Agora Centre has been saved.

“But the future regeneration of Wolverton does depends on the new owners being willing and able to redevelop the whole building.

“The administrators noted that a major amount of money needed to be spent to bring the building up to scratch so I will be monitoring that very closely.

“And if they don’t, I will look to bodies such as Milton Keynes Council and the Fire and Rescue Service to use their influence to ensure the new owners bring it up to a suitable standard.”