St Albans District Council is set to complete its £6.25 million purchase of a city centre building.

Lockey House in St Peter's Street was bought by the council earlier this year, except for one remaining retail unit with a 999-year lease.

The council says an opportunity has now arisen to acquire that unit, allowing it to buy the freehold of the building enabling it to be a part of the wider regeneration around the Alban Arena.

Lockey House is a three-storey building that has a number of tenants including a branch of the Nationwide Building Society. The remaining unit was located between Barclays Bank and Virgin Money.

The Council is financing the acquisition with a low-cost loan from the Public Works Loan Board which helps local authorities invest in infrastructure, housing and regeneration projects.

Councillor Robert Donald, chairman of the regeneration and business committee, said: "Lockey House is a large building, providing business and retail space in the heart of the city and boasts a number of blue-chip tenants.

"It is an excellent addition to our property portfolio and I hope full council accepts our recommendation to complete the freehold purchase.

"Acquiring this unit will help us progress our plans to regenerate what has become a rather tired area of the city centre. We are already redeveloping the site of the former police station and NHS clinic where 93 new homes and substantial new business space is being created.

"We are working now on design proposals for the area around the Alban Arena, close to Lockey House. This will further enhance St. Albans in the years ahead as a vibrant place to live and work in or to locate a business."

The council adds the purchase of Lockey House will offer "exciting options" to redevelop the Alban Arena entertainment venue and provide possible new facilities such as the creation of a significant public green space, a covered market and a community hub.