Joy at the Savoy as mall is saved

TRADERS at the Savoy Centre are celebrating after mall owners saved it from the axe.

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Shopkeepers say the news is the best outcome they could have hoped for
Shopkeepers say the news is the best outcome they could have hoped for

The Evening Times can reveal that firms in the centre in Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street were told they could carry on trading after a deal was struck to keep it open.

Fears were raised that the shops would have to close after InShops, which was operating the centre, announced it was going into liquidation.

But Belfast-based PBN Property Limited, who were acting as asset managers on behalf of the landlords, confirmed last night they were taking over the indoor market.

The Savoy is one of 11 centres in the UK to be saved. They include the Paisley Centre, in the town's High Street, and Aberdeen Market. A further 10, including The Forum in Ayr, are to close.

The move came after finance giant KPMG was appointed liquidators to InShops.

As we revealed last week, traders were told by InShops to pack up and leave the premises by last Friday.

Dougie Fraser, who owns print firm Image Box in the Savoy, said: "It is the best outcome we could have hoped for. For a couple of weeks we didn't know what was going to happen.

"It is a blessing that the owners are taking over. I think that's best for everyone involved.

"We have still got to work out the terms - we're meeting with the owners next week.

"But we hope that everything will be worked out."

PBN director Damian Mitchell said: "We have taken poss-ession of the floor space previously leased to InShops Centres Ltd and are pleased to confirm that the current retailers can continue to trade."

Paul Flint and Brian Green, of KPMG, were appointed joint liqui-dators to the network of indoor shopping centres and market halls on Tuesday.

InShops Centres, which has its head-quarters in Liverpool, operated 21 shopping centres and market halls in the UK and had 54 staff.

KPMG said the company stopped trading last Friday.

Mr Flint, associate partner at KPMG, said: "A combination of ris-ing costs and declining income over a number of years meant InShops was increasingly unable to meet its rent obligations.

"This ultimately led the directors to take the decision to cease trading and appoint KPMG as liquidators.

"We are pleased to have been able to work with the company to strike deals with 11 landlords prior to the company entering into liquidation, ensuring that 321 retailers can continue to trade and safeguarding jobs."

rachel.loxton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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