New Friars Square owner

A SHOPPING centre in Aylesbury has been purchased by the developers who built Wembley Stadium.

Multiplex has bought Friars Square shopping centre in the town centre for an undisclosed sum from F&C Property Asset Management plc.

Multiplex identified Aylesbury as a potential target having commissioned detailed research.

This research pointed to the affluence of the catchment area, the lack of quality retail space on offer in the town, population density and the planned increase in population under the UK government's Sustainable Communities Plan.

Whilst the company's plans for Aylesbury are still at an initial stage, a number of potential commercial development initiatives have been identified which will increase and improve the space available for retailers as well as creating additional commercial opportunities in the centre of the town.

The initial phase of construction work is scheduled to commence during the summer of 2008 and the project is expected to be completed in 2013. The project is 100 per cent owned by Multiplex.

Alan Peach, Multiplex UK Retail Director, said he was delighted at the deal.

He commented: "This is an exciting project for Multiplex which will build on our established reputation for the delivery of quality retail and leisure environment in sensitive Home Counties market towns. We have deliverable plans for Aylesbury which will maximise the project's potential through active asset management and a longer-term development strategy."

Jayne McGivern, Chief Executive, Multiplex UK, said: "I am delighted that Multiplex has won this project which is an excellent addition to our growing retail portfolio.

"To capture this highly rated development opportunity is a real credit to Multiplex's retail team and I look forward to the project getting underway."