Trafford Council is to invest £400,000 in the Grafton Centre shopping centre after abandoning plans to redevelop it.
The once-bustling shopping hub, formerly home to the likes of Music Zone Direct, Greggs and the original Rhode Island Coffee, has been closed for six years.
Trafford had bought the 81,000 sq ft centre in 2018 as part of its investment strategy and had hoped to create an “exciting mixed-use scheme” with a development partner.
But Covid forced it to change course and two years ago it asked property firm CBRE to carry out an appraisal of the redevelopment.
Negotiations were advanced with a preferred bidder but the Council has now decided not to postpone any redevelopment.
Built in the 1970s, The Grafton Centre – located at the junction of George Street and Regent Road – includes a number of ground-floor retail units and the seven-storey hotel above, currently leased to Travelodge.
Cllr James Wright, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration, said: “Trafford Council is totally committed to the long-term redevelopment of the Grafton Centre but we wanted to renew our options following the huge disruption caused by Covid.
“We bought the centre to redevelop in a different economic climate to the one we find ourselves in today – and Covid has changed everything.
“Trafford Council will now focus solely on the future of the Centre as we go forward post-Covid. Our project teams will look at different options for the site and report back to us. We are very proud of the work we have carried out in Altrincham and have been at the forefront of the regeneration of the town centre in recent years including the successful Market Quarter, public realm works and Altrincham Business Improvement District.”