Ikea is said to be closing in on the deal to buy Brighton’s Churchill Square shopping centre.

The Swedish furniture giant reportedly tabled a £175 million offer earlier this year, as reported by The Argus last month.

Now, The Sunday Times has confirmed the sale will be complete by the end of this summer.

Ikea's property arm Ingka Centres is overseeing the deal which is rumoured to include a two-storey branch of the furniture outlet in Churchill Square’s former Debenhams store.

On behalf of the shopping centre's fund manager Abrdn, a spokeswoman at Churchill Square said this morning: “Discussions have been ongoing for a few months around a possible sale.

“Abrdn does not wish to comment on speculation in the market.”

Ingka has been contacted for comment.

Plans for the takeover were first announced last month.

The Argus: Churchill SquareChurchill Square (Image: The Argus)

A spokeswoman for Ikea said at the time: “As part of our ongoing transformation to be closer to our customers, however they choose to shop with us, we continually explore the potential of new locations and sites.”

Ikea has embarked on similar schemes before with its Levit shopping centre in Hammersmith a hit among customers.

It purchased the former Kings Mall in London for £170 million in 2020 where it launched the UK’s only high street Ikea store.

Also inside is a Lidl, studio spaces available to rent by the hour and many of the brands that were there before.

Cindy Andersen, the managing director of Ikea’s parent group property arm, told The Guardian in 2022: “This is the first step on our journey to develop more city centre locations.

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“This was a perfect opportunity to refurbish and existing location which has been established for a long time and taking the next step to put some new energy into the place.”

Ikea previously had controversial plans to open a large outlet in Lancing, a plan that was met with a fierce backlash from residents in 2018.

They said an Ikea store belonged on an industrial estate not the intended site of New Monks Farm, near Shoreham Airport, which also acts as a flood plain.

Building work on the development of 600 homes with a school and country park began but in 2021 Ikea bosses pulled out, citing a move to online sales as the basis of the decision.