A Norwegian pension fund flush with oil cash has bought half of Sheffield's Meadowhall shopping centre for £348 million.
Britain's squandered its North Sea oil resources funding deliberately created unemployment in the 1980s, keeping taxes down and reducing borrowing.
But Norway, with a population of around five million, pumped cash into its government pension fund.
The fund is so wealthy that its interest alone pays for 11 per cent of the country's public spending.
Britain also squandered its North Sea gas reserves by burning gas to make electricity.
The "dash for gas" involved quickly building gas power stations to generate electricity during the 1984-5 miners' strike against pit closures, but also to make quick profits.
Reserves which should have lasted 200 years were burned in 30. Britain now buys gas from Norway and elsewhere.
The fund's chief property buyer Karsten Kallevig said: "The purchase gives us exposure to one of the largest and most dominant shopping centres in the UK."
Meadowhall opened in 1990 on the site of a former steelworks.
Although the Norwegian oil money is referred to as a pension fund, it also finances a wide range of public spending projects, including social security and health services.
The Norwegian government owns half of Statoil and raises £30 billion a year through a tax on other oil firms.
Last year Norway invested £452m in Regent Street.
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