Trinity Walk sold for £150m - new owner takes on market hall demolition plan

Shoppers at Trinity Walk, Wakefield
Shoppers at Trinity Walk, Wakefield

A global investment firm has taken over controversial plans to bulldoze Wakefield market after buying the nearby Trinity Walk shopping centre for £150m.

Orion European Real Estate Fund is the new owner of Trinity Walk – and of plans to turn the market hall into a multi-screen cinema.

It will inherit the plan from Sovereign Land, one of the former owners of Trinity Walk which was already in talks with Wakefield Council to shut down and redevelop the market hall.

Sovereign Land said it would remain involved in the market project.

Orion director Aref Lahham said: “As far as the potential redevelopment of the market hall is concerned, the status quo is maintained with Trinity Walk’s new owners, Orion, working with Sovereign Land to progress the proposals, subject to the council’s decision on the sale of the site.”

Traders at the market have collected more than 8,000 names on a petition against the plan, saying the council should keep the market hall open.

The market, which opened in 2008, would be knocked down to make way for a cinema with cafe and restaurant units.

Indoor traders would be invited to move to alternative shop units in the city centre.

Outdoor stallholders could move to a new market in the cathedral precinct.

Ownership of the scheme changed after Orion bought Trinity Walk from a consortium of Sovereign Land, Ares and Shepherd construction, which itself bought the shopping centre out of administration in 2009.

The market hall was built and its ownership transferred to the council under a deal with the original developers of Trinity Walk.