THE new owners of Kettering’s shopping centre have branded the Newland Street bus station an “awful rat run” and have said they will improve its appearance.
Investment company Ellandi acquired Kettering’s Newlands Centre last year, and has pledged to refurbish and rebrand the centre after admitting it looks dated.
Speaking at Kettering Council’s executive committee on Wednesday, Mark Robinson, founding partner of Ellandi, said: “We will work with our partners and stakeholders to do something about the bus station as it looks like an awful rat run.
“We are looking to maybe move the bus shelters off the building to make it look like a thriving shopping street again.
“At the moment, it’s not nice to walk down, with fag butts strewn everywhere.”
Mr Robinson has said no alteration of the road would be needed, and his company would soon be speaking to the county council.
Ellandi has also commissioned cosmetic works on the Newlands Centre and a £19,000 clean of the building is already underway.
The owners also hope to repaint and redecorate the building’s interior and put in improved car park lighting.
Ellandi has said it has invested in the centre for the long term, and future plans include working on the Gold Street entrance and installing new toilets.
Mr Robinson added: “We have already started works to rebrand and refurbish the centre to give a it a modern, contemporary feel.
“We need to give it a fresh feel so retailers and shops know that it’s going in the right direction.”
Ellandi purchased the centre in September last year in partnership with Tristan Capital Partners.
Bosses at the company previously told The Evening Telegraph that they want to re-establish the town centre as one of the most thriving in the north of the county.
The Newlands Centre’s manager Neil Griffin said: “If you looked down Gold Street, you wouldn’t see that there is a shopping centre there so we’re going to work on signage and a new front.
“By the end of the year I think there will be a big transformation, the centre has been under-invested in for so long.
“The idea to have bus bays next to a shopping centre is a perfect idea, but Newlands Street looks so grotty.”