Benson Elliot expands UK retail portfolio with purchase of Vicarage Field Shopping Centre in Barking

Vicarage Field is located in the heart of Barking, on a 5.2 acre site held long leasehold from the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. Constructed in 1991, on the site of the former Vicarage Field football grounds (home of Barking FC from the early 1900s until the 1970s), the Centre provides 156,000 sq ft of net lettable retail space, together with 500 parking spaces. Strategically situated immediately opposite Barking Station – which provides a regular 15 minute train service to Fenchurch Street in the City – it benefits from the growing trend for retail convenience, whilst being the area’s only covered shopping offer and home to brands such as Argos, Subway, Vodafone, Claires, Poundland and new arrivals Holland & Barrett.

Benson Elliot will look to reposition the retail offer at Vicarage Field, building on the firm’s strong in-house retail expertise and leveraging occupier relationships developed through Benson Elliot’s ownership and management of a 1.3 million sq ft UK retail portfolio.

Marc Mogull, Managing Partner of Benson Elliot, said:
“During the past five years Benson Elliot has established itself as a committed and reliable partner for dynamic local councils across the UK, as they seek to encourage private sector-led regeneration efforts for the benefit of the communities they serve. We’re strong believers in the growth and investment potential of East London and LBBD in particular, and recognise the great opportunity this acquisition offers to revitalise a key part of Barking town centre. We look forward to working with the Council and local community to fulfil the long-term potential of this key Thames Gateway location.”

Vicarage Field benefits from a previous planning consent for a 165,000 sq ft residential scheme, and the Town Centre’s recent mayoral Housing Zone designation will accelerate local housing delivery and help drive retail spend in the coming years.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, welcomed the sale and said:
“It’s a clear sign of the progress we’re making that a major private investor like Benson Elliot should want a stake in Barking’s future. We look forward to working with them on this key town centre asset to build on our growth agenda, with Barking and Dagenham being London’s Growth Opportunity.”

Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot, said:
“This is an exciting purchase for Benson Elliot and provides us with a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the regeneration of a key east London metropolitan centre. The goal has to be to ensure that Vicarage Field’s retail offer keeps pace with evolving shopping trends, and that changes in local aspirations are reflected on the ground. With ambitious growth plans for 35,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs, the Borough is a great place to invest long-term and as London moves east, we aim to ensure the town centre takes a leading role in shaping Barking’s future.”

ENDS

For further information:

FTI Consulting
Dido Laurimore / Claire Turvey
+44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Dido.laurimore@fticonsulting.com
Claire.turvey@fticonsulting.com

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