The new owner of a North East landmark which housed Marks and Spencer for more than a century has outlined his firm’s ambition following the purchase.

Nasser Din, co-owner of Linthorpe 54 Limited, said they have acquired the former M&S building on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough.

Speaking to the Echo, he outlined plans to invest in the area and fight against the “neglect” Middlesbrough has suffered over the years - and added this is part of their greater scheme to help revitalise the town centre.

He added it has not yet been confirmed what the plans are for the former M&S building, but he said the firm is “working on things.”

Mr Din said: “As yet, it hasn’t been confirmed what we are going to do, but there are various ideas, we are working on things.

“We will be announcing shortly a scheme we’re looking at doing. We are looking to work with the relevant authority as well.

“All towns throughout the country have suffered since Covid, many have failed, and many have gone to rock bottom. Middlesbrough’s a town that has suffered from what I call neglect, and lack of investment over the years.

“I’m still confident town centres can be revived, but maybe a different mix of businesses will attract shoppers.

“Health, living, entertainment, shopping, eating, all of these things. Having a good mix of quality as well as just discounted stores will give a better variety and attraction for people coming to shop in the town.”

Middlesbrough Council confirmed the acquisition of the Hill Street shop on Linthorpe Road, which had served as the home of M&S for 122 years, earlier this month.

The store had closed its doors for the final time back in April last year to the dismay of residents.

Mr Din, who runs the firm alongside business partner Zahid Iqbal, said the firm also acquired the Next building on Linthorpe Road in October last year.

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He said he hopes to work with the owners of the House of Fraser and Debenhams buildings in Linthorpe Road to help breathe life back into the town centre.

He added he hopes the new plans his firm is drawing up can help attract customers from “far and wide.”

Mr Iqbal is a retail magnate who has experience working on similar projects such as The Packhorse Centre in Huddersfield and Batley Plaza.