VACANT units have been snapped up by new tenants at Hereford's Maylord shopping centre, Herefordshire Council has said.

Almost one year since the council acquired outright ownership, the Maylord Centre in Hereford is on the way to fulfilling the council’s ambitions for the site.

Despite the impact of the Covid pandemic, nine vacant shop units have been let to new tenants and five existing tenants have renewed their leases, a council spokesperson said.

With the anticipated lifting of Covid restrictions the council is confident that more vacant shop units will be occupied throughout the rest of 2021.

The council had retained the freehold of most the four-acre site since it was developed in the late 1980s, and acquired outright ownership in June 2020, with the aim of taking full control of the future of the shopping centre that lies at the heart of the city, and developing it for the local community.

Councillor Gemma Davies, Cabinet member for commissioning procurement and assets, said: “The Maylord Centre is a community asset, and should be a vibrant place where people want to visit, work and do business. We are delighted that it is being revitalised as a great space for businesses, which is going to be absolutely vital to help our local economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“When the council purchased the centre last year, we did so to ensure that our communities can help to determine its future and make sure that it remains an alive, relevant and exciting space, befitting its location at the heart of our historic city. It is fantastic to see these ambitions taking shape.”

This year also saw a £100k investment in the centre using funding from the government’s Accelerated Towns Fund. This included refurbishment of facilities and improvements enabling a number of vacant units to be utilised by pop up retailers, bringing benefits for existing and potential businesses as well as the public.