Development Securities buys half stake in Lichfield scheme

Listed property company Development Securities is investing part of the £100m it raised last year in a retail scheme in Lichfield. It is buying a 50 per cent stake in a £100m stalled retail development in the Staffordshire city.

It has agreed to fund the development of the 400,000 sq ft retail, residential and office scheme in the city centre and will work with the current owner, Harrison Developments, to open the scheme within three years.

Michael Marx, the chief executive of Development Securities, said: "This is evidence there is still life outside London. We truly believe opportunities exist outside the capital and the rest of the country is not dead. Most of our equity in the past year has been invested outside of London."

Strutt and Parker's latest development update found that 2012 will be the first time in 40 years that no new shopping centres will open in Britain.

Nick Young, a partner at Strutt & Parker, said "The appetite for new space by retailers is still strong. Some may be forced to pay high rents or accept lower incentives to secure new stores. Without an increase in rental payments and commitments from retailers the retail schemes being planned might not be viable."