A key shopping centre in Wiltshire is up for sale again after the deal with a would-be purchaser fell through despite contracts being exchanged.

Castle Place shopping centre in Trowbridge was sold prior to an online auction in May for around £1.2 million after attracting interest from more than 100 parties.

It went for around three times its guide price of £400,000 to local developer David Campbell, who has since been unable to complete the purchase.

He was attempting to purchase the centre through one of his companies, Belgravia 17 Investments Ltd, which is registered to an address at Washington Road on the West Wilts Trading Estate.

Wiltshire Times: Castle Place shopping centre could soon lose its biggest flagship store, Wilko. Castle Place shopping centre could soon lose its biggest flagship store, Wilko. (Image: Trevor Porter)

Mr Campbell, 58, of Biss House on the West Ashton Road, is understood to split his time between Trowbridge and Marbella, a city in Spain.

He has been approached for comment.

Earlier this week, sources close to Castle Place confirmed the deal was “unlikely” to be completed by Mr Campbell.

Now it has been confirmed that a fund manager has placed it for sale again through the online auction house Acuitus.

It is listed for sale at £400,000 in their online auction on Thursday, September 21 as lot number 55. The sale begins at 1pm.

Sitting on a prominent 1.73-acre site on Market Street, Castle Place has been put up for sale by its owners Nexus Properties Ltd.

A spokesperson for the shopping centre managers, APAM UK Ltd, said: "We do not comment on private transactions."

Surviving tenants have been unsettled by delays in the sale being completed and by large store closures in recent months.

They were told in a letter hand-delivered on July 20 that the sale has been delayed without a reason being specified.

Naomi Chivers, a senior property manager with APAM, said in the letter: “Until you are advised otherwise by APAM, APAM remains the property manager for Castle Place and Donna Stephens remains the centre manager.

“All rents, service charge and any other sums due under the terms of your lease or license are payable to APAM in the usual manner. If you have been withholding payments, please make sure these are now transferred without delay.

“I appreciate this may be an unsettling time but be assured that business continues as usual and we will make sure you are informed of any changes at the appropriate time.”

One of the tenants, Paul McKinley, of Castle Place Butchers, said: “I haven’t paid any rent for the past three months.”

Mrs Stephens, who has managed the centre for the past seven years, has been approached to comment on the sale.

The 70,469 square feet (6,546 square metres) centre was built in 1974 and has 475 car parking spaces, as well as a market hall.

It occupies a prominent and strategic town centre location linking Market Street to St Stephen’s Place Leisure Park and is ripe for redevelopment potential.

The ageing and outdated centre has lost several tenants in recent months, including Shaws the Drapers, Mainlys hardware store and a McColl’s convenience shop.

It is generally acknowledged that Castle Place is in need of significant investment and new tenants to make it more attractive to shoppers.

The centre could soon lose its flagship store, Wilko, with the national chain recently collapsing into administration and continues to try and find a buyer.

Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers are struggling to find a potential buyer for Wilko’s which has around 400 stores nationwide.

Some years ago, J D Wetherspoon’s Sir Isaac Pitman pub, in a listed building on Market Street, also closed.