Martin Ford 28 August 2019

£450m flagship regeneration project scrapped

Southampton City Council has terminated an agreement for a multi-million pound regeneration project.

Under the £450m Royal Pier Waterfront plan, a 32-acre disused site would have been developed into office space, leisure facilities, shops, a casino and 730 luxury apartments.

It was previously described as a ‘flagship project’ by the council, one of the landowners.

However, the authority has confirmed it triggered the termination of the development agreement it signed in 2014 with RPW (Southampton) Limited, a joint venture company owned by Morgan Sindall and funders Lucent Group.

In a statement, the council said it wanted to ‘explore the potential for deliverable development plans’.

It added: ‘Southampton City Council is looking to secure suitable investment for the Royal Pier Waterfront site and welcomes all expressions of interest from potential investors to work with us to deliver a world-class waterfront destination for the city.’

The development area, owned by the council, Associated British Ports and The Crown Estate, centred on the Royal Pier, which has remained disused for many years.

Southampton had agreed for Aspers to operate the casino, paying £100,000 on grant of the licence, £150,000 on opening and £50,000 per year.

Doubts were expressed about the future of the project as far back as 2017, when increasing costs associated with decontaminating the site and uncertainty due to Brexit surfaced.

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