A TOWN centre shopping site continues to operate at a financial loss for Warrington Borough Council – despite being fully occupied.

As reported last year, Hatters Row will cost the local authority almost £10.5 million over the next century as it is locked into an extraordinary lease arrangement.

It has a deal with Northscene Limited dating back to January 1989.

As part of the arrangement, the council agreed to pay a rent of £109,000 per year to Northscene, a subsidiary of Satnam Investments Limited.

However, recent payments for the site have been made to Manchester and Provincial Car Parks Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Satnam.

The deal runs for an astonishing 125 years – without a break clause, which effectively locks the council into the arrangement until the year 2114.

Steve Park, the council’s director of economic growth, is keeping a close eye on the site, with Town Hall chiefs confirming it continues to operate at a loss.

Mr Park said: “While we may not be able to affect the terms of the deal that was completed several decades ago, it’s important that Hatters Row is fully occupied, which it currently is, and adds to and complements the private sector investment that has recently been made in the immediate area that has resulted in new residential apartments and restaurant offers.”