Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Major coup for shopping centre owner as Wilko signs new lease

Major coup for shopping centre owner as Wilko signs new lease

Nottingham property developer ALB Group has landed a major coup by negotiating terms for homewares chain Wilko to retain its flagship store at an out-of-town Peterborough shopping centre.

Wilko’s lease at Ortongate Shopping Centre, in Orton Goldhay, was due to expire in September this year.

It was feared that the national retailer was poised to vacate its 23,436 sq ft unit after seeing the centre increasingly struggle for trade and other tenants over the past few years.

But ALB Group recently stepped in to purchase the majority of the shopping centre site, with an aim to revitalise it by offering cheaper and more flexible rent structures to tenants, as well as spending around £1m refurbishing some of the vacant units.   

Now, property agent Prime Retail has completed negotiations with Wilko on behalf of ALB, persuading the high street giant to sign a new five-year lease at the centre.

Joe Bryan, senior surveyor for Prime Retail, said:

“This is fantastic news for Ortongate and shows just how much of a positive effect ALB has had on the general outlook at the shopping centre.

“Wilko currently occupies the second largest unit on site, so this is a major coup for everyone, and a huge relief I’m sure to many shoppers.

“Having pre-empted a situation which could have left a very large hole in the centre’s fortunes, we clearly offered them a good enough deal to stay.”

Joe said that, since ALB announced it was taking over at Ortongate, the shopping centre seemed to be gaining a new lease of life, with a number of businesses showing an interest in leasing vacant units.

Potential new businesses currently in negotiation with the joint agents Prime Retail and FHP Property Consultants include an Indian restaurant, pet store and an arts, crafts and garden store.

All have been attracted by ALB Group’s growing reputation for kickstarting the fortunes of depressed high streets and retail centres in other parts of the UK.

Areas like Bridlesmith Gate in Nottingham, Albion Street in Derby and Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich have all benefitted from ALB’s promise of better tenancy terms for traders. 

While a wide mix of both large national chains and small independent traders is the goal, ALB has been especially keen to make tenancy agreements affordable and flexible enough to attract more local and niche entrepreneurs.  

Arran Bailey, founder and managing director of ALB, said:

“Our approach is quite simple: high streets and retail centres have been facing challenges for years, from online shopping to the effects of Covid, so it could not be a case of ‘business as usual’.

“Many landlords have not woken up to the fact that a fresh approach was needed. But we have seen a hugely positive reaction to our more flexible leasing model. 

“The fact that Wilko has reconsidered its position and signed a new five-year lease illustrates just how serious we are at breathing new life into our centres. We expect to be able to share many more positive stories from Ortongate in the very near future.”

Ortongate Shopping Centre, which is four miles south-west of Peterborough, was placed on the market earlier this year following a long struggle to fill vacant shop units.

Built 15 years ago, the shopping centre serves a local population of around 30,000 residents as well as many more from surrounding areas who take advantage of the good transport links and free parking spaces.  

 For further information about vacant retail units at Ortongate Shopping Centre, contact Oliver Marshall on 07887 787885 or email, or email Joe Bryan at  


< Back