UK commercial property company British Land has bought three retail parks worth £94m (€107m) and sold its 50% stake in a retail park in Preston for £30m in separate deals.

The London-listed firm has bought the 300,000sqft Capitol Retail and Leisure Park in Preston for £51.5m from Royal London UK Real Estate Fund, a fund managed by Royal London Asset Management. 

Capitol Retail and Leisure Park in Preston

Capitol Retail and Leisure Park is let to retailers including Next, Home Bargains and Boots

Paul Nicholson, senior asset manager at Royal London Asset Management said the Capitol Retail and Leisure Park represents a “successful completion of the asset plan having managed to recently achieve full occupancy across both parks”. 

“This is an excellent sale in a challenging market which allows the fund to recycle capital into developments that we consider to offer better future performance prospects,” said Drew Watkins, portfolio fund manager for The Royal London UK Real Estate Fund.

British Land said it also paid £35m to buy Solartron Retail Park, a 90,000sqft retail park in Farnborough, and invested £7.35m to buy DFS, 442 Newmarket Road, a 20,000sqft retail warehouse in Cambridge.

The company also sold its stake in Deepdale Retail Park to Melford Capital, in line with the firm’s “strategy of actively recycling capital”.

Kelly Cleveland, the head of strategy and investment at British Land, said: “With retailers increasingly focused on the role of their stores, retail parks have emerged as a preferred format, due to their compatibility with omni channel retail, their affordability and appeal to online resilient businesses.

“This is driving good occupational demand across the portfolio reflected in our 97% occupancy and growing ERVs [estimated rental values].”

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