Retail and leisure destinations owned by shopping centre landlord Intu contributed almost £5bn to the UK economy in 2018, new research has found.
Intu Properties owns shopping centres across the UK, including Manchester’s Intu Trafford Centre, Intu Lakeside in Essex and Intu Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent.
Data compiled by planning and development consultancy Lichfields showed that Intu’s gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy and the number of people in retail employed at Intu centres both grew by more than 4%, from 2017. Intu’s GVA increased from £4.6bn to £4.8bn and the number of retail jobs rose from 96,350 in 2017 to 100,652 in 2018.
The company supported a total of 132,950 jobs last year, making it one of the largest local employers in six of the areas where it operates. Intu attributed the growth in employment to its ongoing investment in new developments, including the £180m extension to Intu Watford and a £72m leisure development at Intu Lakeside, which is set to launch this summer. Intu is planning a further £600m of investment over the next ten years, including the redevelopment of Intu Broadmarsh in Nottingham and the expansion of Barton Square at Intu Trafford Centre.
Matthew Roberts, Intu chief executive, said: “Retail is a sector that Britain should be really proud of. The best shopping destinations employ people in a wide variety of jobs across the length and breadth of the country and are catalysts that create economic and social value.
“Intu supports more than 130,000 jobs and contributes billions to the prosperity and well-being of communities around the country. Flagship centres such as ours play an important role in the lives of communities across the UK, not only in terms of the jobs we create but also the taxes we generate as well as the causes we support to improve the lives and well-being of people in our neighbourhoods.”