Intu, the owner of the Trafford Centre, has warned that the shopping centre may be forced to shut.
Intu has appointed KPMG to prepare a contingency plan for administration and has warned shoppers the famous Trafford Centre might be forced to close, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Intu Properties is currently struggling with £5bn debt and remains locked in crunch talks with lenders after being hard hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
The group also owns Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, and confirmed today they have KPMG on standby as administrator. It is currently negotiating details with lenders as it looks to secure breathing space ahead of a looming deadline on Friday.
Intu is hoping to arrange a ‘standstill agreement’ on terms of up to 18 months but said it’s likely this will only be 15 months.
Its lenders have explain that ‘there is a risk that centres may have to close for a period’ if they cannot reach an agreement.
Intu Properties is trying to negotiate a freeze on loan repayments, however increasing demands from landlords is reportedly making this unlikely.
The company put agreements with creditors on hold to ride out the coronavirus pandemic at the start of June, wavering debts until June 26th, however, according to reports it expects to breach debt commitments by this deadline amid falling falling rental payments.
The company announced in May ‘robust action’ against large tenant businesses who haven’t paid their rent during the coronavirus lockdown.
For the first quarter of the year, the company only received 40% of rent and services charges which were due by the end of March 2020.
The firm, which lost £2bn in 2019, warned in March it could collapse if it cannot find further funds.
A statement by Intu on May 18th said that: “in particular looking to achieve stability through standstill-based agreements with relevant financial stakeholders across its structures, at both the asset and group level.”
The standstill strategy statement says: “At this stage it is not expected that the duration will exceed 15 months.
“How the operations of individual centres are to be funded. Some centres haver educed rent collections as a result of Covid-19 and cash trapped under their financing arrangements which restrict their ability to pay for support (such as shopping centre staff) from other entities in the Intu group.
“Securing additional funding in centres funded by bond structures is more difficult to achieve and, in this connection, consent will be sought shortly from the stockholders of Intu Debenture PLC to authorise the trustee to release certain monies within the existing debt structure to be used for short term liquidity needs.
“Other centres may also require cash injections for these purposes. This all remains subject to further negotiations, with no certainty as to whether Intu will achieve a standstill, or on what terms or for what duration.
“Further announcements will be made as appropriate. Notwithstanding the progress made with lenders, Intu has also appointed KPMG to contingency plan for administration. In the event that Intu Properties plc is unable to reach a standstill, it is likely it and certain other central entities will fall into administration.
“In this situation, all property companies would be required to pre-fund the administrator to provide central services to the shopping centres. If the administrator is not pre-funded then there is a risk that centres may have to close for a period.”
Intu Properties own nine of the country’s top 20 shopping centres and has been struggling with the shrinking high street retail market for some time.
Intu is laden with debts estimated to be around £5bn. The value of the shopping centres have fallen by £1.9bn due to the down turn of the market.
Man, 27, killed after Audi crashes into wall as police appeal for information
A 27-year-old man has been arrested
Police are appealing for information after a man was killed when a car smashed into a wall in Stockport.
A 27-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the tragic incident.
An Audi S3 was travelling North East along Broadstone Road on Saturday night when it collided with the Houldsworth Mill external perimeter wall, opposite the Grey Horse Public House, police said.
The man, a 27-year-old passenger, sadly died in the collision which happened at around 6pm on Saturday, February 24th.
Emergency services rushed to attend the scene of the incident but the passenger sadly passed away. The man’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
The driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in custody while enquiries continue.
Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) are now appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to make a report.
They are also keen to speak to anyone who may have any footage – including dashcam, CCTV, or mobile phone footage – from the area in the moments leading up to the collision.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 4741, quoting log number 2429 of 25/02/24.
Information can also be shared using GMP’s ‘tell us about’ tool or LiveChat function on the force’s website: www.gmp.police.uk.
Strictly’s Amy Dowden shares ‘no evidence of disease’ in cancer update
‘I have so much to strive and live for, and so grateful for another chance at life!’
Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden shared her latest health update after her cancer diagnosis last year.
The professional dancer was first diagnosed with breast cancer last May, at the age of 32.
Dowden was forced to take a step back from the show while she faced treatment and shared the news with fans.
She joined the long-running hit reality ballroom dancing series in 2017, but was forced to pull out of the show after doctors discovered she also had tumours elsewhere in her body and would have to undergo a gruelling course of chemotherapy.
The star explained her ‘journey had changed’ with another update in an Instagram Live conversation with breast cancer survivor and Paralympic gold medalist Erin Kennedy, for the cancer charity CoppaFeel! in July 2023.
Dowden was originally meant to have a ‘lumpectomy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment’, but was then told she would have to undergo a mastectomy as well as chemotherapy.
She said: “So, all of a sudden, then I realised, and you get scared, but the oncologist did say that with chemo I’ve got a really good chance of a cure.
“I was really scared and I didn’t want to do chemo but then seeing someone like yourself [Erin] who’s carried on and for me straight away it was my dancing, like, you can take away my boob but you can’t take my dancing away from me and that’s what I get really upset about.”
In a recent update shared with her 659,000 followers on Instagram, Dowden had some very good news in her journey.
She wrote: “NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE! Words I dreamed of! My biggest accomplishment yet!
“I won’t be getting the all clear for 5 years especially with a hormone fed cancer. But it was all worth it. Words I never thought I’d hear at one point. So grateful for all the care I received and continue to have.
“To my husband, family and friends who supported me unconditionally and to you guys! Thank you!”
Though the dancer still has a way to go as she recovers from the toll the last year has taken on her body.
She continued: “I will still need a monthly injection for 5 years and regular check ups.
“Chemo and this past year has certainly took its toll on my body both physically and mentally, so I’ll be taking the next few months to heal and recover.”
Ending the post on a positive note, she added: “I have so much to strive and live for, and so grateful for another chance at life!
“Something I know not all get. I certainly see life differently and my life has changed forever!
“Cancer affects too many so I will continue to do all I can to raise awareness and make sure I get as many as I can to #checkthemselves.
“It’s time to look ahead after what’s been the toughest year, and one I certainly didn’t expect! Dance floor I’m coming for you! Welsh love always, Amy x.”
Taxi driver stopped by police for having illegal and dangerous tyres
‘Check your vehicle before every shift!’
A taxi driver was caught driving with bald tyres after police officers pulled him over in Greater Manchester.
Officers out on patrol around the city-region as part of an operation with Wolverhampton Council’s Compliance Officers on Saturday night, February 24th, stopped the driver of the black Ford before checking the tyres.
As police made the discovery, in defence the driver claimed he had checked his tyres ‘just last month’.
Images on social media show an officer checking the vehicle along with an image of a tyre with completely worn tread depth – which is illegal and unsafe to drive with.
A spokesperson for City of Wolverhampton Council said: “Compliance Officers patrolled around Greater Manchester last night with Greater Manchester Police. One vehicle suspended for an illegal tyre, also vehicle prohibited by Police.
“Driver – ‘I checked tyre last month’ … Really!? Check your vehicle before every shift!”
According to car experts at Kwik Fit, the legal limit for the minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is ‘1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre’.
For safety reasons, it is recommended that you replace your car tyres before the legal limit is reached.
Motorists caught driving with tyres below the legal minimum tread depth could face penalty points being added to their licence and a hefty fine of up to £2,500 per tyre.