Lewisham Council has finalised the purchase of Catford Shopping Centre for £11.52m.

Regeneration company St Modwen, which has owned the shopping centre since 1993, has agreed to sell it to the council, which will run the centre through a wholly-owned company called the Catford Regeneration Partnership Limited.

Council chiefs claim buying the centre will improve regeneration of the area.

Deputy Mayor of Lewisham Councillor Heidi Alexander said: “The council's vision for Catford is as a lively, attractive town centre.

“Buying these land interests in the Catford centre is a once in a lifetime opportunity that puts the council in a much, much stronger position to shape the future of Catford.”

St Modwen senior development manager Killian Morris said: “Shopping centres across the country have suffered in the downturn, but Catford is one of the few that can claim 100 per cent occupancy.”