Empress swimming pool, Chatteris, returns to the auction room but this time guide price now £200,000 after failing to sell last time
PUBLISHED: 13:15 12 June 2019
Guide price of the Empress swimming pool in Chatteris has dropped to £200,000 when it goes back under the hammer later this month.
Barnard Marcus has listed the pool for their next auction on June 25 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, London.
Previously a price of up to £500,000 was being touted for the property although the guide price had dropped considerably by the time it went up unsuccessfully for auction the first time.
Now it is being advertised in an auction catalogue as a 'freehold leisure investment' but with development potential.
A 'keep the pool' campaign has been launched locally and a bid is being made to Fenland Council to confirm it as an asset of community value (ACV) that would give a six month window for the town to rally and buy it.
Barnard Marcus describes it as the chance to acquire "a unique leisure opportunity with possible reversionary development prospects (STPP) situated within the heart of the town.
"The building was formerly a cinema and understood to have been converted circa 1964 to provide bespoke swimming pool leisure facilities with reception room, changing room facilities and other ancillary space."
The auctioneer's note there is additional first floor space which is currently not utilised with a total gross internal floor area of some 6,500sq.ft including a former car showroom which is offered with vacant possession.
In total the building sits within 0.235 acres with frontage to Park Street.
Barnard Marcus says the pool is let to N W Angell, G Brinton and D Frost (trustees of Empress Swimming Pool Trust) which has charitable status. The lease is for a term of 15 years from January 1, 2001 and was originally let at £4,500 per annum with the current rent being £6,000 per annum effective following the rent review in January 2007.
"The tenants are currently holding on this lease and have a rolling option to terminate the lease giving not less than six months' notice in writing expiring on any anniversary day of the term," say the auctioneers.
"A purchaser may wish to consider serving requisite notices under the Landlord and Tenant Act to terminate the lease for the purposes of redevelopment or indeed negotiate new terms with the charity.
"Given the significant built area and position of this property, it is considered that the space has significant redevelopment potential subject to the necessary consents and purchasers are deemed to rely on their own enquiries in this respect."