A MAJOR East Lancashire shopping centre is to launch a bid to attract more national retailers after changing hands in a multi-million deal.

Accrington Arndale Centre’s new managers are hoping to bring more big names to the town now its new offshore owners have been finalised.

The change in ownership is said to have taken months to agree contracts, and has seen the site sold for the seventh time in 15 years.

It was put up for sale for around £17million last August by the wealth management arm of Swiss bank UBS, who bought the building five years ago for £37.5m – more than double the sale price they asked for.

The new owners, an anonymous off-shore company, are tight-lipped about the exact amount the building has ultimately sold for.

Property management of the centre will be passed to Manchester-based firm Lee Baron and the new owners have asked the London asset management firm Jesta to oversee their interests in the site.

The new managers of the Arndale said they hope to revitalise the centre and encourage interest from big national retailers.

David Berman at Jesta said: “It’s going to be business as usual at the Arndale Centre and of course we are hoping to improve it as much as we can.”

Council leader Miles Parkinson said the authority hoped to work with the new owners.