Medway Council has spent nearly £35m on a new shopping centre as part of a wider regeneration programme.
The council took over the lease of the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham town centre for £34.8m on Friday.
The acquisition is anticipated to provide the local authority with the opportunity to generate an annual income of £1m, which will go towards services for local residents.
Medway Council has already invested £4m, secured from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, in Chatham town centre to carry out major improvement works.
The Medway region is home to 14,000 businesses and has an economy worth an estimated £5.17bn.
Perry Holmes, chief legal officer at Medway Council, said: ‘This is an exciting time for Medway with lots of investment projects underway to help improve the area for our residents.
‘The acquisition of the Pentagon Centre complements the improvement works which have already taken place in Chatham town centre as part of Medway’s monumental 20-year regeneration programme.’
Councils have rejected the idea that local authority investment in shopping centres is ‘dumb money’.
Photo: © Danny P Robinson