SPECULATION surrounds the future of a troubled shopping centre after it was revealed it will soon be for sale.

Weaver Square Shopping Centre, in Northwich, will be put up for auction in the New Year.

The centre went into receivership in August 2012 when Nationwide Building Society called in receivers Colliers International to take over the management of the centre from owners, Weaver Square Investments Ltd.

On Monday a spokesman for Colliers International confirmed that the centre would be put up for auction in the New Year and that tenants were aware of this but said there were no further comments because the situation was in its very early stages.

Derek Brereton, from independent shop Prooz, in Market Street, said: “It’s the uncertainty of it.

“Who’s going to take it on?

“What happens depends on what the intentions are of whoever gets it, but it needs something.

“The problem is that they can’t fill the precinct – from a trader’s point of view if you’re looking to come into the pricinct you’re probably not going to because there’s no other shops.

“You need about 10 lined up ready to go that can all come in at the same time.

“It feels like we are the forgotten end of town.”

Dave Hodkinson opened The Kitchen Garden in Weaver Square itself in November and said something needs to be done to help the precinct.

He said: “All the traders in the square are really struggling, I didn’t realise how bad it was.

“In my opinion Weaver Square going to auction can’t be a bad thing.

“It’s owned by the bank at the moment and a bank is a faceless organisation.

“They want their money back, that’s all, they’ve no interest in the town.”

The shopping centre encompasses Witton Walk, up to Greenwoods Menswear, The Arcade, including Seafarer and the Information Centre, and Market Way.

The land that the centre is built on is owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC), while the centre itself is owned by Nationwide Building Society.

The council also owns the indoor and outdoor market, including all market premises that front on to Applemarket Street, but not market premises that open into Market Way.