Grocer's plans for the centre may not be approved though
Tesco has paid Eu52 million (£36.2 million) for the Golden Island shopping centre at Athlone in the Republic of Ireland. The shopping centre, which opened in 1997, has 130,000 sq ft (12,080 sq m) of retail space. Golden Island has more than 40 other tenants, including Boots and Thorntons, with an annual rent roll of Eu3 million (£2.1 million).

Tesco is hoping to make use of the Eu12 million (£8.3 million) in capital allowances that are about to be clawed back from a group of 12 private investors, which bought the centre for Eu18 million (£12.5 million) seven years ago as a tax-driven investment.

The supermarket giant wants to expand the Golden Island scheme by building on part of its substantial car park. However, the local authority is keen to see the progression of local hotelier John O'Sullivan's plan for the centre.

Recently, Tesco Ireland sold the Wilton shopping centre in Cork to property development company Howard Holdings for Eu105 million. It is expected that, in time, Tesco will also sell on its new interest in Golden Island.