Wellgate Shopping Centre sale: Dundee locals have their say

Dundee residents have reacted to the news that the Wellgate centre is set to be auctioned off next month.

Locals responded to Dundee Live’s story yesterday about the planned sale of the city’s iconic retail hub.

Many recounted happy memories of the three-floor shopping centre at the end of the Murraygate and offered up some great ideas about what should happen to it.

Others weren’t so positive, with one describing it as ‘ugly’ and another calling for it to be knocked down.

The shopping centre has a guide price of £500,000 and is being sold with its 583 space multi-storey car park.

The Wellgate is being sold with its 583 space multi-storey car park.

It has 76 retail units over three floors – including B&M, Burger King and JD Gyms – and the seller – Acuitus – claims it generates a gross annual income of £1,341,000.

There is no indication at this stage of interested parties or what, if any, plans have been drawn up for the centre’s future.

Writing on the hugely popular ‘meh Dundee’ Facebook page, locals expressed their views on the upcoming sale and their memories off the Wellgate.

Kevin Black wrote: “Some of my earliest memories about Dundee was coming here on holiday as a kid to visit my Gran and Granddad and them taking us to the Wellgate market to get comics and going to see the clock!

“Live here now and would love to see something similar in the city again! With brick and mortar retail (not so) slowly dying, a wee market for small businesses all concentrated would be amazing!”

Stephen Crofts added: “It needs some proper investment and fresh ideas that’s all, hopefully the new owners (if it sells) will see the Wellgate’s potential and turn it back into a decent retail/leisure destination.

“I don’t think closing it down would be in Dundee’s best interest.”

Wellgate Shopping Centre sale: Dundee locals have their say
The guide price for the auction is £500,000

While Eileen Murray said: “Put in a cinema, bowling alley, soft play centre, some eateries and a bit of retail/gift stalls…..would attract all ages then the murraygate might start to get better shops as well.”

Pamela Dingwall used to work in the Wellgate and has some really fond memories.

She wrote: “I worked in the original lottery stand. What a laugh you’d get with all the customers, regulars and new or just passing customers hoping to get lucky.

“If it is was quiet what a laugh you’d get with the security guards. Although I wasn’t working there long a good few months it was one of the best jobs I’ve had. Sadly missed.”

Other locals also have positive memories.

Susan Mclean wrote: “I remember standing waiting for the clock to go when I was little. Loved that place then with the fountains and all the great shops there was. Now its just a pass threw most of the time.

“Please put in something that Dundee needs.”

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Neil Watt said: “We travelled from Montrose to shop there and the highlight was seeing the clock strike and just like finding about Santa. I was gutted to learn the water in the fountain ran down clear plastic wire.”

Pauline Bennett added: “So sad loved this place as a bairn living central so was there all the time. Miss the market hall and think it kinda went downhill after that closed down – hopefully can be brought to life again.”

However some said the new owners will have their work cut out to revitalise the area..

Iain Buik wrote: “The centre is ugly. It would cost an absolute fortune to redevelop and upgrade the facilities.

“The centre died when Tesco moved out, after that few felt the urge to visit, the rental and rates for shops is/Was high therefore any retailer would have a hard job making a profit within five years.

“If Dundee is going to be a visitor attraction then serious work will have to be done.”

The Wellgate auction will take place at 1pm on December 13th and will be broadcast via livestream on the Acuitus website with bidding online, by telephone and by proxy.

Further details can be found here.

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