SKIPTON Chamber of Trade and Commerce is urging the new owner of Craven Court to continue supporting its tenants, following news the shopping centre has been put up for sale.

London-based agents Fawcett Mead announced last week they had been instructed to place Craven Court on the market with a price tag of in excess of £6,665,000

The agents describe the asset as ‘an attractive prime shopping centre investment’, adding it is the only shopping centre in Skipton; freehold, with 61 per cent of income secured to national multiples.

It is anchored by Fat Face, Joules, Barclays and Laura Ashley and is home to a number of smaller independents and cafes.

There is 92 per cent occupancy by floor area with a net operating income is £547,310 per annum.

Mike McAuley, owner of The Terrace Tearooms, in Craven Court, said currently he felt there was a lack of co-ordination between tenants and the current management structure and said he hoped whoever bought the centre would help to ensure a sound future and ‘help fill the empty units that have been empty for three years or more’.

Brian Ross, owner of The Silverbox, situated on the ground floor near the Otley Street entrance added: “We don’t really have contact with the owners. They are London-based while the administration side for payment of rents is in Edinburgh.

“I can’t really see things changing much. We used to have regular meetings in the past but that doesn’t happen now.”

Mr Ross said he had been at The Silverbox for 18 years.

The advert detailing the shopping centre’s profile describes Skipton as an established market town with a road network which connects York to Liverpool and is just 23 miles from Leeds Bradford airport and is close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Lake District.

Fawcett Mead states: “Skipton is the shopping hub for an expansive surrounding catchment which extends into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The town benefits from its loyal local catchment as well as a healthy year-round influx of tourists, attracted by the world famous Yorkshire Dales and Skipton’s cobbled streets and vernacular architecture.

Craven Court Shopping Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary in July last year . A recent planning application from Vale Real Estate to build apartments on the outskirts of the shopping centre, in Otley Street were rejected by planners for being overbearing.

Wendy Griffin, co-ordinator with Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce said: “Skipton continues to be an attractive town for retailers and Craven Court has some fantastic shops and outlets. We do not expect this news to change that.

“Craven Court has played an active role in the local business community, so the Chamber hopes the new buyer will continue to use this opportunity to be involved in the town and be supportive of its tenants, investing in Skipton in the way other landlords do.”