The council has purchased two pieces of land for a combined £7.6 million in order to progress plans for the regeneration of a run-down seven-acre site.

St Albans City and District Council has been working to transform the area surrounding the Alban Arena entertainment venue.

It has now completed the purchase of the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust’s Principal Health Centre, in Civic Close, after more than two years of complex negotiations.

The council has also bought a nearby car park from Angle Property Limited, a company that has been looking to develop part of the site.

The two purchases follow the acquisition last year by the council of the City’s former Police Station from Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

It means the Council now owns most of the land and buildings in the area known as the Civic Centre Opportunity Site.

Leader of the council, cllr Alec Campbell, said: “The redevelopment of the Civic Centre Opportunity Site is one of the biggest and most challenging projects this council has undertaken.

“We are extremely pleased to have completed these two purchases as they are essential to our ambition of transforming this whole area in a coordinated way.

“I am delighted with the help we received from both the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and Angle Property to make this deal happen.

“Our mission to redevelop the area began some years ago. Following this major breakthrough, we can now focus on our detailed plans for its rejuvenation.

“This site is in the very heart of St Albans and its enhancement can only benefit the whole community.”

Tony Williamson, executive director of Angle Property, added: “Angle is delighted to have achieved the masterplan planning consent for CCOS which was so well supported locally.

“It has been a very complicated process but working with the Council, the police and the NHS, the jigsaw has come together to enable a comprehensive regeneration project to proceed. We wish the Council well as they embark on this complex project.”