Wider investment in towns and cities across the country helped shopping centre owner intu to increase its positive impact on the UK economy by £700 million last year according to its 2015 economic impact report.
intu’s Gross Value Added (GVA), a recognised measurement of an organisation’s total economic contribution, increased to £4.2 billion in 2015 from £3.5 billion in 2014 as the shopping centre owner boosted regional economies by stepping up its development projects.
More than £60 million was invested by intu in major development schemes in 2015 including new leisure extensions at intu Metrocentre in Gateshead, intu Eldon Square in Newcastle and intu Potteries in Stoke on Trent. The shopping centre owner also supported 121,000 jobs and a total wage bill of £1.6 billion.
A 10-year £1.9 billion development pipeline will deliver an estimated 33,000 new jobs and a further £2.2 billion GVA. 2016 sees the start of transformational developments within Watford and Nottingham city centres at intu Watford and intu Broadmarsh and an innovative leisure extension at intu Lakeside in Essex.
Alexander Nicoll, director of corporate responsibility at intu, said: “These findings show how investment in the regions of the UK can deliver economic regeneration, city centre transformation, more customer choice and jobs. We’re proud to be a major long term employer and investor in the UK regions and cities where we operate and it is clear that this helps us play an increasingly important role in maintaining healthy and prosperous local communities while supporting sustainable economic growth and employment opportunities.
“Our considered and sustained long-term investment will continue over the next 10 years with plans to invest a further £1.9 billion which will create thousands more new jobs in construction, retail and leisure and catering.”
4% of the UK’s total retail employment currently work at an intu centre, rising to one in 10 of all workers in the Newcastle and Gateshead areas where intu’s successful retail employability scheme Retail Gold has helped to create new jobs at intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre’s new leisure extensions. Work to roll out the Retail Gold programme to all intu centres across the country began at intu Braehead near Glasgow last year.
intu’s economic impact report was commissioned from economic consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners and assured by Corporate Citizenship.