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Congleton
Wednesday, July 6, 2022

No mention of town centre plan in firm’s latest annual report

The company that planned to expand Congleton’s Bridestones Centre has bounced back into profit and promised to “keep building” – but it has made no mention of Bridestones II.

The annual report for Scarborough Group International said it recognised profits of £1.3m in its profit and loss account compared to losses of £503,000 last year.

The parent company received £23.5m in respect of a legal dispute; last year’s losses were primarily caused by borrowing costs on property developments that were not show as stock on the balance sheet.

Said the report: “The message from the board is ‘keep building,’ which translates into the continuation of construction of the Endeavour building in Sheffield, 62,000sqft, and building 133,000sqft office pre-let to Lowell at Thorpe Park, Yorkshire’s largest out of town pre-let, as well as Legacy Stadium (Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park) and a new development poised to start at phase three Middlewood Locks (189 new homes)” in Salford.

These four project have a net development value in excess of £130m and should produce “useful profits” on completion, said the report.

No mention is made of Congleton, whose town centre redevelopment has been on the back-burner for more than decade.

A spokesperson for Scarborough told the Chronicle they would no longer speak to us some years ago, following our accurate report of a council meeting that was critical of the company.

While the Bridestones has previously been mentioned in the group reports, it was not mentioned this year.

Scarborough Developments Limited, which was behind a 2012 planning application for the Bridestones, was dissolved following liquidation in 2012. The Chronicle this week spent some time going through the reports of several Scarborough subsidiaries but could find no reference to Bridestones.

In January 2016, Congleton Town Council said it was “still waiting for news” on the proposed redevelopment of the town centre, to be named The Mills, which saw shops close and businesses move ready for work to start more than decade ago.

In May 2014, the town council said that “all outstanding matters” between Scarborough and Cheshire East had been concluded and a s106 agreement signed. Scarborough had also completed an agreement with Tameside Council, which owned Princess Street.

The Scarborough Development, also known as the Princess Street Development and Bridestones II, involves building a new supermarket, public square and other retail units in the area between Morrison’s and Mill Street. It will raise the market up to ground level, with car parking underneath. The scheme has been in the planning stage for many years, and was scheduled for completion in 2012.

As far the Chronicle knows, the existing Bridestones is owned by Bridestone (Cheshire), a subsidiary of Marshall Holdings of Elland, which also owns sites in Crewe.

Pipeline

Back in its annual report, Scarborough said it had “a substantial development pipeline”, with planned medium term projects in the Northern Powerhouse cities of Manchester. Leeds and Sheffield with a gross development value in excess of £1bn.

During the first half of 2021 the group realised £25m cash from the sale of Bramall Lane Stadium, The Enterprise Centre and The Shirecliffe Academy.

The balance sheet showed that the group’s net assets at the year-end had increased from £16.7m to £18m. The largest contributing factor towards the decrease was the sale of Bramall Lane Stadium.

 

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