Property giant Hammerson has offloaded seven retail parks across the country in the largest deal of its kind in a decade.

The retail parks, including Telford Forge and Cleveland in Middlesbrough, have been sold for £400m to Orion. The net proceeds are expected to be £395m.

The portfolio also includes The Orchard Centre in Didcot, Elliott’s Field Shopping Park in Rugby, Central Retail Park in Falkirk, Cyfarthfa Retail Park in Merthyr Tydfil and Ravenhead Retail Park in St Helens.

In separate deals, Hammerson has also sold Parc Tawe, Swansea and Abbey Retail Park, Belfast individually for proceeds totalling £55m.

The sales follow a strategic decision announced by Hammerson in 2018 to exit retail parks over the medium term, against a “challenged backdrop”.

The group has now sold 14 retail parks since July 2018, generating £764m to reduce debt and strengthen its balance sheet. It leaves it with one remaining retail park interest, in Brent South, owned jointly with Aberdeen Standard Investments. That stake is also marked for sale.

“Against a challenged retail and investment backdrop we have exited the retail parks sector,” said Hammerson CEO David Atkins.

“Having achieved disposals of close to £1bn since the beginning of 2019, our focus remains on strengthening our balance sheet to create further resilience.

”The completion of this strategic disposal enables us to create a more concentrated portfolio of flagship venues, premium outlets and city quarters, which we expect will deliver greater levels of both income stability and growth over the medium term.”